Duterte in Japan ahead of Asean meet
Tokyo : Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday began his two-day state visit to Japan, to address the regional challenges ahead of the Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
Duterte would meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and was expected to exchange views on North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Before leaving for Japan, Duterte called for a dialogue with North Korea to curb the ongoing tension in the region, Efe news reported.
“It would be good for America, Japan, (South) Korea and Kim Jong-un to talk and convince him to sit down in a round table (and say) nobody is threatening him.
“There will be no war — and that no one is planning to destroy them,” Duterte said during a press conference in Davao, Philippines, before leaving.
The Japanese government noted that Duterte’s visit, the second since the beginning of his presidency in June 2016, is a good opportunity for the leaders to exchange views before the Asean Summit, which will take place in Manila in mid-November.
Before his meeting with Abe, Duterte would participate in a business event on Monday and meet Foreign Minister Taro Kono, as well as the President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Shinichi Kitaoka.
After holding a joint press conference with Abe, Duterte is set to attend a dinner hosted by the Prime Minister at his official residence.
On Tuesday, the Philippine President will be received by Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace, which will be his first meeting with the royal couple.
Duterte arrived in Japan early on Monday. His visit was shortened from three to two days due to the tropical storm Saola near Japan, which resulted in over fifty flights being cancelled on Sunday.