TOKYO, Japan – President Duterte has a full schedule in his second visit to Japan.
Duterte left Davao City last night for a three-day official visit and will arrive here at around 2:15 a.m. today.
The Chief Executive will rest and start his engagements 12 hours later, meeting Katsuyuki Kawai, special advisor to the prime minister and member of the House of Representatives, in a courtesy call.
Foreign Minister Taro Kono will pay a courtesy call on Duterte in the afternoon, followed by that of Shinichi Kitaoka, the president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Duterte will meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his office, the Kantei, in Tokyo, followed by the signing ceremony and the two leaders’ joint press statement, the only event in the itinerary which is open for media coverage, after which he will attend a dinner hosted by Abe.
The next day, Duterte will confer the Order of Sikatuna, posthumously, on the late Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda.
Duterte will then meet with Fumio Kishida, chairperson of the Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council and former foreign minister, in a courtesy call, and Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko, the last event in the Chief Executive’s itinerary.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Duterte’s visit will bolster the country’s relations with Japan. Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of Japan to Manila Takehiro Kano has reassured that Japan is committed to its relations with the Philippines.
Among the topics to be discussed during the President’s visit to Japan is the Manila Subway Project or North-South Commuter Lines.
“Japan and the Philippines share common values such as freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. So our bilateral relationship is robust across different administrations,” Kano said. “Japan welcomes the President’s visit and then we look forward to seeing that this visit will further enhance bilateral relationship,” he added.
Joining the President in his trip are Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Trade and Industry Secretary Mon Lopez, and Duterte’s economic team to reinforce the Japan-Philippines economic partnership.
Incoming presidential spokesperson Harry Roque will also join the Philippine delegation. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)