Abe heaps praise on Duterte in their reunion, calls Manila visit a ‘tremendous honor’
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe couldn’t contain his delight upon seeing President Rodrigo Duterte again after they met in Tokyo last year.
In his opening statement delivered in Malacañang Thursday (Jan. 12), Abe said it was a “tremendous honor” for him to be invited by Duterte as the first foreign leader to visit Manila.
“I chose the Philippines as my first destination this year and that is a testament to my primary emphasis on our bilateral relationship with the Philippines,” he said.
Abe said he was “delighted” to see Duterte again after they met in Tokyo in October 2016 when the President went on a state visit to Japan.
The Japanese Prime Minister also described his upcoming visit to Duterte’s hometown, Davao City, on Friday (Jan. 13) as a a”great pleasure.”
Aside from throwing his support behind Duterte’s chairmanship of ASEAN-related summits that will be held this year, Abe also committed to elevate the ties between the Philippines and Japan “to a higher ground covering a wide-range of areas.”
“[L]et us work hand in hand in addressing various challenges of the Asia Pacific region,” he said.