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TOKYO – The “special friendship” between Japan and the Philippines stands on “unshakeable firm ground” and must be extended by another 1,000 years, President Duterte declared before wrapping up his three-day official visit here.
The President hailed the enhanced strategic partnership between the two Asian brothers following his productive meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, calling Japan as a “special friend closer to a brother.”
“This is a relationship that stands on unshakeable, firm ground by all counts… our ties are just excellent,” the President said during a dinner hosted by the Prime Minister at his residence in Tokyo.
“Our security and defense cooperation is vibrant, our political exchanges are active, our economic cooperation is impressive; our partnership for peace in Mindanao and in the region is visible. Our commitment to inclusive growth and development is undeniable,” he added.
Before giving his toast, Duterte proposed in jest a new pact with Japan particularly on extending the strong bilateral relations between Manila and Tokyo.
“With 60 years of diplomatic relations and centuries-old ties, the Philippines and Japan have defined a special friendship whose value is beyond any measure,” he said.
“I would like to ask from Your Excellency, Prime Minister, that you and I sign an agreement tonight extending the 60 years of friendship of our diplomatic relations anniversary and may I suggest 1,000 years,” he added.