MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will meet with Japanese Emperor Akihito when he visits Japan later this month, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday, October 12.
In a statement, the DFA said Duterte will visit Japan from October 25 to 27 "upon the invitation of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe."
"During his visit, the President will meet with the Japanese Prime Minister. He will also make a State Call on His Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan," the DFA said.
Duterte's predecessor, former president Benigno Aquino III, also paid a state call on Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko when Aquino visited Japan in June 2015.
The last known high-level meeting between the Philippines and Japan was in September, when Duterte and Abe met on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Vientiane, Laos.
Duterte's trip to Japan comes as he asserts an independent foreign policy that is distant from the US and closer to China and Russia. (READ: Why Duterte needs to act like a diplomat)
Japan is a US ally. Like the Philippines, Japan also has a territorial dispute with China. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.