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Duterte: Japan will be last overseas trip

Tired from traveling overseas, President Duterte has said that his visit to Japan in June will be his last foreign trip as chief executive.

“I have to go to Japan. The plane is very expensive. I’ll look for another cheaper way of going there,” Duterte, who does not like long-haul flights that take a toll on his body, said in a press briefing upon his arrival from Russia Wednesday.

“But this will be my last. I won’t travel anymore after this. Pagod na talaga ako,” Duterte added.

Duterte is expected to attend an international conference on June 5 to 7 and is expected to meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe where he would bring up financial concerns. “Well, it’s always money. Trade and commerce. I am not asking for anything, lalo na pera. If you want to help, they can finance it and we can pay or they can operate it,” Duterte said.

Duterte has also said that he has turned down US President Donald Trump’s invitation to visit the White House.

“Yes, I said I’m sorry and I cannot go, because I’m busy,” he said in an interview with Russia Today, adding that he appreciates the gesture.

Duterte had earlier said that he might not be able to accept Trump’s invitation as he has a packed schedule.

Trump invited Duterte in a phone conversation during the last day of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit on April 29. The Department of Foreign Affairs has said that Duterte can only accept formal invitations and not invitations made via phone calls.

The two leaders are still expected to meet for the East Asia Summit in November.

Duterte has previously disavowed foreign trips. He made the same remark when he attended the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Lima, Peru last November.

Excluding Japan, Duterte has been into nine countries in the past three months of this year. He visited Myanmar and Thailand in March; the Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar in April; and Cambodia, Hong Kong, China, and Russia this month. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)