Duterte to fly to Japan for working visit

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2017 01:20 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands after a joint statement in Malacañang on Jan. 12, 2017, when the Japanese leader came for a 2-day visit. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte will fly to Japan for a working visit from October 29 to 31 and is set to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss critical issues, including tensions at the Korean Peninsula.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed Wednesday that Duterte will meet with Abe and other top Japanese officials for talks on “matters of mutual interest to both countries,” including economic and security issues.

The President is also scheduled to meet with influential Japanese businessmen.

Expected to be discussed during the two leaders’ meeting is the situation in the Korean Peninsula, as North Korea in recent weeks have ramped up its rhetoric against the United States and its allies South Korea and Japan.

In June, Duterte had to cancel a trip to Japan to focus on solving the conflict in Marawi City, which began on May 23 and ended this week, five months since firefights between state troops and Islamic State-linked terrorists began. 

The President visited Japan in October last year, where he was scheduled to meet with Japanese Emperor Akihito. But the meeting did not push through after the emperor’s brother, Prince Mikasa, passed away.

Following their Japan meet, Duterte and Abe are expected to again cross paths at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam in November.

The President’s second Japan visit also comes in the wake of the election victory of Abe and his party.

Duterte hosted Abe in the Philippines in January, even touring the Japanese leader in his Davao City home.