DAVAO CITY ─ President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, October 29, left the country for his official visit to Japan, expressing high hopes to bring positive news to the Philippines from his trip
In his statement at Davao International Airport, President Duterte expressed his appreciation to Japan for being “understanding” of the challenges that the country has faced and for providing assistance in addressing the threat of terrorism and violent extremism.
“As we sustain these efforts, we have to act with other nations who share the same values and aspirations that we hold dear, and work together towards lasting peace, security and stability,” the Chief Executive said.
President Duterte added that Japan has always been with the Philippines in pursuing genuine peace in Mindanao and in the development of the entire nation.
He said that he would meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to express his gratitude for Japan’s steadfast and unprecedented support for the Philippines and its people.
“I will discuss with him ways to significantly advance our already strong and strategic bilateral partnership, especially on matters involving socio-economic development, peace and progress in Mindanao, and the build-up of modern infrastructures in our country,” President Duterte said.
The President added that he would discuss the advancement of the rule of law in the relations between and among nations to support greater stability and security in the region.
Aside from meeting with the Japanese businessmen and industry leaders in Tokyo, President Duterte will also pay a courtesy call on Japanese Emperor Akihito.
“I will take this occasion to personally convey gratitude for Japan’s friendship with the Philippines, which has grown stronger under His Majesty’s reign,” President Duterte said.
“Our ties and friendship with Japan is most valued, and as we recognize our meaningful shared history, we will continue to be forward-looking in our relations,” he added.
The President said that his second trip to Japan would seek to further strengthen existing partnerships and establish new ones – all with the aim of ensuring that these partnerships redound to the benefit of both our peoples.
“I will work towards securing the Japanese business community as a key partner in our country’s development agenda,” President Duterte said.
In a press conference prior to his departure for Japan, President Duterte said that a nuclear war is totally unacceptable to everybody and that somebody has to talk to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.
“It would be good if America, Japan, Korea, and Mr. Kim Jong-un talk and to convince him to sit down on a round table and just tell him that nobody’s threatening him, that there will be no war, and that if he can just tone down or stand down, stop the threats, and that would be the same for America,” President Duterte said.
“Just to assure him that nobody’s after you, and America is not about ready to destroy a generation or a nation of people,” he added.
President Duterte said that America, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines, among others, must guarantee Mr. Kim Jong-un that there is no threat in the offing, or there is no plan at all really to remove the North Korean leader.
“We can start with the talks and perhaps talk to him and say, ‘In the meantime, we are not stopping you forcefully, but… it would go a long way if there is somebody whom you can talk to,’ and these are the countries that would make a difference,” Duterte said.###PND