Duterte invites new Japan emperor and empress to the Philippines

Pia Ranada
Duterte invites new Japan emperor and empress to the Philippines

AFP

The Philippine President says it would be his country's great honor to receive Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako some time in the future

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte invited new Japan Emperor Naruhito and his wife Empress Masako to visit the Philippines.

Duterte extended this invitation during his bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last Friday, May 31. His working visit in Japan in May was his first trip there after the Emperor’s ascension to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

“The President likewise conveyed the best wishes of the Filipino people to Emperor Naruhito’s ascension to the throne adding that it would be a great honor for our country to receive Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako in the Philippines in the future,” said the Palace on Monday, June 3.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo, however, said the invitation made no mention of any specific date or occasion for the visit.

But he said it would be an important milestone in diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Japan.

“I think the visit will further enhance the bond between the two countries,” he said during a Malacañang news briefing.

The 59-year-old Naruhito became the 126th emperor of Japan after his father Akihito’s historic abdication from the throne.

Naruhito’s parents, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, visited the Philippines  back in January 2016, only 7 months after then-president Benigno Aquino III invited them. – 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.