Japan’s Abe to meet PH business groups, visit Duterte’s Davao home

Pia Ranada
Japan’s Abe to meet PH business groups, visit Duterte’s Davao home

News And Information Bureau Mala

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be in the Philippines from January 12 to 13 and will visit Manila and Davao City

MANILA, Philippines – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is all set to visit the Philippines from Thursday to Friday, January 12 to 13, making stops in Manila and Davao City.

During his visit, Abe will be treated to a state dinner or lunch by the Philippine government. He is also set to meet with business groups in both cities.

“He’ll be here on Thursday, there will be a state dinner, state lunch I think. Davao on Friday,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella during a news briefing on Tuesday, January 10.

“There are at least two major things. There will be meet-ups with business sectors, both in Manila and Davao,” he added.

Another likely item on Abe’s Davao City itinerary will be a visit to President Rodrigo Duterte’s house.

“Apparently, the Prime Minister wants to visit the President’s house, so that’s interesting,” said Abella.

The two leaders seemed to have “struck a certain resonant chord” during Duterte’s visit to Japan last October. (READ: Shinzo Abe to Duterte: You’re ‘quite famous in Japan’)

“They hit it off really well. We stayed long in the banquets there where the President and Prime Minister conversed and had their pictures taken together,” said Communications Secretary Martin Andanar during an interview with TV5.

“He wants to visit the house of President Duterte, his house in Davao City. We expect a very, very warm – not just strengthening of ties, but a very, very warm visit and a very, very warm welcome,” added Andanar. (READ: Duterte underscores PH’s ‘exemplary partnership’ with Japan)

Abe will be the first head of state to accept Duterte’s invitation to visit the Philippines. Duterte has also invited, among others, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.