Duterte on Japan: I know we will be with them for all time
SUBIC BAY – “I know we will be with them for all time.”
This was how President Rodrigo Duterte described the Philippines-Japan relations which have come a long way since World War II.
Japan occupied the Philippines for three years during wartime. But the ties to the tragic past have seemed to loosen up since then.
“Japan is historical friend. It has a long history of helping us mostly,” Duterte said in a press briefing aboard Japanese warship JS Izumo, their biggest warship since World War II.
Izumo, a helicopter carrier, was commissioned only in 2015. Duterte was the first head of state to visit the ship, which is in the country on a four-day goodwill visit.
Duterte thanked Japan as he noted some of its assistance to the Philippines including the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and its military equipment donations.
Unlike with the United States which he tried to distance the country from, the President was friendlier with Japan and is even willing to fight with them.
“Our ties with Japan is historical and I know that we will be with them for all time. They can count on our gratitude for helping us and also our friendship to fight with them,” he said.
“We have so many problems in this world and I said we are friends, historical ones. We have a lot to say thank you to you. And I’d like Japan to know that we are a people of gratitude,” he added.
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