JAPANESE Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives today to strengthen Philippines-Japan relations.
Abe is the first head of state to visit the Philippines under the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte. He will be in the country January 12 and 13, and is scheduled to fly to Duterte’s hometown Davao City.
Of the many countries Duterte has visited since he became president, Japan is the first to return his state visit. Abe’s visit reciprocates Duterte’s own successful trip to Japan last October.
About 2:25 in the afternoon, the Japan Air Force OO1 carrying Abe and his delegation are expected to touch down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport [NAIA] runway and will proceed to Balagbag ramp where the Japanese leader will hold a press conference.
Abe will be accompanied by his wife, Mme. Akie.
Abe will be meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to, counter-terrorism cooperation, drug rehabilitation projects, infrastructure development, maritime cooperation, and development projects.
The Prime Minister is the very first head of government to officially visit the Philippines this year and will be the highest ranking official to ever visit Davao, which is home to a large Japanese community.
Previously, the President received Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Davao.
In 2016, the Philippines and Japan commemorated 60 years of the normalization of diplomatic relations.
Japan remains one of the Philippines’ most steadfast economic partners, and people-to-people relations with Japan are among the most dynamic.
With Cristina Lee-Pisco