The President and his official delegation arrived at Haneda International Airport early morning of Monday, October 30, onboard a chartered Philippine Airlines (PAL) plane.
The Chief Executive said he is looking forward to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe once again whom he described as the Philippines “true friend.”
“I will convey to him the gratitude of our nation for Japan’s steadfast and unprecedented support for our country, our people, and our government,” Duterte said in his departure statement.
“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,” he added.
The two leaders will also likely to discuss regional security issues, particularly in the Korean Peninsula.
The President is scheduled to meet with the Japanese premier at the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday afternoon, where they will hold a Summit Meeting and a tête-à-tête.
They are expected to issue a joint press statement following the meetings.
Duterte is the first ASEAN head of state and government to visit Tokyo after the Japanese premier won a landslide victory in the snap election, making him the longest-serving prime minister in the country’s post-war history.
The President is also scheduled to attend a dinner to be hosted by Prime Minister Abe at his own residence. To recall, President Duterte gave the Japanese premier a tour in his home when the latter visited Davao City last January, indicating the close personal ties between the two leaders.
The Chief Executive is also scheduled to have an audience with His Majesty Emperor Akihito and Her Majesty Empress Michiko.
Duterte said he will personally convey gratitude to the Japanese royal family “for Japan’s friendship with the Philippines, which has grown stronger under His Majesty’s reign.”
“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.
During his visit, the President will also witness the signing of letters of intent between Philippine officials and several Japanese business and industry leaders.
He will likewise receive several Japanese top officials in separate courtesy calls including Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President Shinichi Kitaoka and former Foreign Minister Honorable Fumio Kishida, who is also the Chair of LDP Policy Research.
The President is also scheduled to meet with the descendants of Honorable Takeo Fukuda, the 42nd Prime Minister of Japan, who will be posthumously conferred a Gawad Sikatuna award.
Part of the official delegation of the President are Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Cabinet Secretary Jun Evasco, Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go. and Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V. ###PND