Japanese PM wraps Philippines visit with trip to Duterte’s hometown

World Today

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe just wrapped up a visit the Philippines. He’s on a four-nation trip.

Abe said he picked the Philippines as the first stop to demonstrate the importance of the relationship between the two countries.

CGTN’s Barnaby Lo reports.

Japanese PM wraps Philippines visit with trip to Duterte’s hometown

Japanese PM wraps Philippines visit with trip to Duterte’s hometown

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe just wrapped up a visit the Philippines. He’s on a four-nation trip. Abe said he picked the Philippines as the first stop to demonstrate the importance of the relationship between the two countries. CGTN’s Barnaby Lo reports.
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has done what only one other head of government visiting the Philippines has done. He set foot in the Southern Philippines. He arrived in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown of Davao City on Thursday evening, and on Friday spent time with Duterte not only during official functions, but in the Philippine president’s home as well. Both leaders said ties between the two countries are stronger than ever.

That presence is set to grow even bigger, not just in Davao, but elsewhere in the country, as Abe announced a record eight billion US dollar aid and investment package for the Philippines over the next five years. None of that, though, appears to be going into compensation for aging Japanese war crime victims.

Although there are only a few of them in that crowd, Filipino comfort women are taking this opportunity to once again call for justice. They’re hoping that both Duterte and Abe will hear their cry. Their issue, however, does not appear to be on the table.

What Abe expressed support for, instead, are the two centerpiece policies of the Duterte administration – the war on drugs and the so-called shift toward a more independent foreign policy.

And with that affirmation, an affirmation also that the Philippines and Japan will stay as friends for the foreseeable future.


Larry Shinagawa on Abe’s tour of the Philippines

For more on what Abe hopes to accomplish on his trip, CGTN’s Asieh Namdar spoke to Larry Shinagawa, former director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland.