TOKYO, Japan—The Japanese public is so fascinated with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s style of leadership, prompting Nikkei Inc. to invite him to speak at its 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia, the Philippines’ envoy to Japan said on Tuesday.
“The reason why the President is brought here is that the Japanese — it’s not Abe alone–it’s the Japanese that are in themselves fascinated by his government,” Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel said during an interview with Philippine reporters.
“And the Japanese are always fascinated with leadership that is recognized, affirmed by their own people, at the same time a tremendous political will insofar as his programs are concerned. So he is not controversial but interesting. Ibang klase for the Japanese. Because the Japanese are also interested in quality leadership that leads the nation.”
President Duterte will address the Nikkei conference on May 31.
The Japanese admire tough leaders as the Asian country reeled from the destruction brought about by World War 2.
They are also looking at contemporary Asian leaders particularly who can further strengthen their relationship with Japan. Both Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Duterte describe the present developments in Asia as “golden era.”
Nikkei, Japan’s leading economic organization, has been concentrating on Asia for the last five years considering the region’s robust growth. It expects Asia’s economic growth to become the biggest in the world in the next few years.
“If you look at it very closely, with the exception of Japan, everyone in Asia is growing. The average is roughly between 5 and 5.3 and the Philippines has been growing for the last four years roughly about 6.8. This year is I think going to be within the range of about 7, 7.1,” Laurel said.
“Now the Japanese would like to also participate in the growth. And the significance is the Philippines is one of the countries that is very desirous to go into and there are opportunities from both sides.”
Employment opportunities for Filipinos
In his bilateral meeting with Abe, President Duterte is expected to discuss defense and security, economic cooperation, infrastructure development, entry of Filipino skilled workers to Japan, Japanese assistance for the Bangsamoro region, as well as the Korean Peninsula and the West Philippine Sea.
Last November, Japan adopted new rules that allow entry to foreign workers and the Philippines was given the opportunity to participate.
According to Laurel, among the possible employment opportunities for Filipinos include information technology (IT), manufacturing, and medical services among others.
“So what is that to the Filipino? It will mean that they can get good jobs in manufacturing,” he said.
In anticipation of the influx of Filipino workers to Japan, he said the embassy is opening a new consulate in Nagoya, Japan’s central hub for manufacturing.
Japanese manufacturing heavyweights in Nagoya include Toyota, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Motors, and Noritake.
Today, there are roughly about 285,000 Filipinos in Japan, Laurel reported.
“And I predict that by the end of the year, there’s an additional 50,000 legitimate registered foreigners working here in Japan contributing to the welfare of the Japanese people and it is quite significant,” he said. PND