MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte believes he "should be" in Japan to witness the enthronement of its new emperor later this month.
Though not categorically saying he will be attending the event, Duterte said he should be in Japan even for just half a day for the enthronement of the new emperor, given the close ties between the two countries.
"Japan has, well, one of the countries na talagang tumutulong sa atin. Nauuna pa. Just my personal feeling, my sentiment, that I should be there, even for just half a day, but, very lean. Tutal, ako lang naman siguro ang inimbita, hindi na ako magdadala ng maraming tao. There's nothing to discuss there, except to be a witness to the enthronement of the new emperor," the president told reporters in Davao City Sunday.
(Japan has, well, has been one of the countries always helping us. They help us first. It's just my personal feeling, my sentiment, that I should be there, even for just half a day, but, very lean. They just invited me, so I will not bring a lot of people with me. There's nothing to discuss there, except to be a witness to the enthronement of the new emperor.)
Malacañang earlier said Duterte will be skipping the enthronement ceremony due to his busy schedule.
The government, instead, will be sending a representative to attend the event.
Duterte was in Japan for a meeting with Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in June.
He also invited the new imperial couple to visit the Philippines.
Emperor Naruhito took over from his 85-year-old father Akihito, the first Japanese emperor to abdicate in 200 years.
The enthronement ceremony for Emperor Naruhito is scheduled to take place on October 22.