Japan in quandary over Duterte’s remarks
The Japanese government has been left confused by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s announced intention to “separate” from the United States, and also by the actual steps taken to strengthen relations with China through his latest talks with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Japan’s confusion is fueled by concerns it may have to review its joint strategy with the United States of backing the Philippines in a South China Sea territorial dispute. Duterte is planning to hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit to Japan from Tuesday to Thursday.
Following a Cabinet meeting on Friday, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said: “Duterte’s comments have been met with various reactions. It’s important to directly hear from him to facilitate better communication on the issue.”