Duterte eyes ‘greater heights’ for Philippines-Japan relations
MANILA — The first visit of a head of state during his term was a “welcome and much awaited reunion,” President Duterte said as he feted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Malacañang, barely three months after his own state visit to Tokyo.
At the state banquet for the Prime Minister on Thursday (Jan. 12), Mr. Duterte underscored the close relations between the Philippines and Japan, and said his discussions with Abe moved their countries closer to their common goals of ensuring a stable and more secure environment for their nations and their people to grow.
“Prime Minister Abe’s presence in Manila today is proof positive that Japan and the Philippines are fully committed to bring this long standing friendship and tried and tested partnership to even greater heights,” Mr. Duterte said.
They resolved to strengthen maritime and security cooperation, advance the cause of peace and development in Mindanao, intensify economic and trade cooperation, and address the illegal drugs scourge in a comprehensive manner, he noted.
The Philippines and Japan are friends that treat each other with mutual respect and trust, and share a common resolve to uphold democracy, adhere to the rule of law and the peaceful settlement of disputes, he said.
Mr. Duterte’s partner Honeylet Avancena joined the state banquet, along with Abe’s wife Akie.
Several prominent businessmen were also spotted at the affair, including Manny Pangilinan, Manny Villar, Ramon Ang, and Jaime Zobel de Ayala. SFM
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