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Japan in quandary over Duterte’s remarks

/ 11:19 AM October 22, 2016
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures during his address to a Filipino business sector in suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Duterte has been under criticism by international human rights groups, the United Nations, European Union and the United States for the more than 3,000 deaths of mostly suspected drug-users and drug-pushers in his so-called "War on Drugs" campaign since assuming the presidency on June 30. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

President Rodrigo Duterte. AP FILE PHOTO

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.

READ: Duterte announces military, economic split with US | Duterte: Separation with US doesn’t mean cutting diplomatic ties

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.


READ: Duterte tutulak naman pa-Japan

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.”

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TAGS: Asia, China, Foreign Policy, Fumio Kishida, Japan, Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, United States
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