Duterte won’t meet emperor during Japan visit
TOKYO, Japan — Unlike United States President Donald Trump, President Rodrigo Duterte will not be able to meet Japanese Emperor Naruhito during his four-day working visit here due to some protocol restrictions.
Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V confirmed this to reporters here on Tuesday.
“No one will see him — not even any one of the five that were invited to speak at Nikkei because Nikkei is a private affair,” Laurel said in a press briefing.
“There is no chance because if you allow Duterte, you also have to allow Mahathir [Mohammad]. If you allow Mahathir, you also have to allow the leaders of Laos and Cambodia,” he said.
President Duterte is among the five Asian leaders to deliver a keynote speech at the Nikke’s 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia on May 30 to 31.
“You see the Japanese are very protocolar. They are very traditional. They actually choose who visits them,” Laurel said.
Duterte arrived here at 9:52 p.m. local time (8:52 p.m. Philippine time), the same day Trump left this city.
Trump was able to meet the emperor during his four-day state visit here.
Naruhito became emperor a day after his father Akihito abdicated the throne.
On his second visit here in 2017, President Duterte met with Emperor Akihito and his wife Empress Michiko and thanked them for visiting the Philippines in 2016.
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)