Duterte to visit Japan ahead of key regional summits

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 29 2017 02:32 PM

TOKYO - President Rodrigo Duterte is set to arrive in the Japanese capital early Monday morning for a two-day official visit with the aim of further enhancing bilateral ties between the two countries.

Duterte will be departing from Davao late Sunday evening and is expected to arrive at around 2 a.m. at the Haneda airport.

The President is set to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who won last week's snap elections in a landslide victory.

Duterte is also set to meet with other high-ranking Japanese officials, including Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kano, JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka and Mr. Katsuyuki Kawai, special advisor to the Prime Minister and a member of the House of Representatives.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said that aside from bilateral economic and security issues, the two countries are also expected to discuss peace and stability in the region, particularly in the Korean Peninsula.

Japan's Kano, in an earlier meeting with the media, said that he expects concrete projects and cooperation between the Philippines and Japan in areas such as infrastructure development, the Mindanao peace process, the anti-illegal drugs campaign and security and counter-terrorism measures.

Both Duterte and Abe are expected to issue a joint statement by Monday at the Prime Minister's office in Tokyo.

On Tuesday, the President is expected to have an audience with the Emperor and Empress of Japan in the afternoon, before he departs for Davao in the evening.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez will be accompanying the President on his trip to Japan.

Newly-appointed Presidential spokesman Harry Roque has confirmed that he will be coming as well.

Duterte's visit comes as both leaders prepare to attend the APEC Summit in Vietnam as well as the 31st ASEAN Summit which will be hosted by the Philippines in Manila.

Duterte was supposed to visit Japan last June but he had to cancel because of the Marawi crisis.