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MANILA, Philippines – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s trip to Davao City proves the closeness not only between the Philippines and Japan but also between the two countries’ leaders, a Japanese government spokesman said.
Abe’s trip to Davao City is part of his two-day official visit to the Philippines from Thursday to Friday, January 12 to 13.
In a media briefing on Thursday, Japanese Foreign Press Secretary Yasuhisa Kawamura cited a statement of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte when he visited Japan in October 2016.
Referring to Duterte, Kawamura explained: “Japan and the Phiippines are not simply friends but we are more than that. We are more than brothers.”
Kawamura said Abe’s trip to Davao City, which is Duterte’s hometown, “represents how our two countries are close” to each other.
“This is an eloquent reflection of the existing confidence and trust between the two leaders,” he said.
Abe is set to leave for Davao City on Thursday evening, and is expected to visit Duterte’s house there.
At the start of his trip to the Philippines, Abe already pledged $8.66 billion (1 trillion yen) in aid to the Philippines, which would be spread over 5 years.
The Japanese leader also lauded improving ties between Manila and Beijing, as he stressed “the significance of the rule of law, peaceful resolution of disputes, and non-militarization.” – Rappler.com