President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday discussed cooperation in the areas of peace and infrastructure in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
After the closing ceremony of the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, the two leaders met at Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre, where President Duterte told the Japanese leader, “I’m ready to talk — anything about the Philippines and Japan.”
The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to President Duterte for congratulating him on winning the presidential election of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party. Prime Minister Abe said he is looking forward to further enhancing the relations of Japan and the Philippines.
“Thank you very much for your kind words about my victory in the most recent LDP presidential election,” the Japanese Prime Minister said.
“Now that I have another opportunity to continue working with you…and so it is a great pleasure for me,” he added.
“I look forward to having a productive discussion with you on strengthening Japan-Philippines cooperation in the area of consolidation of peace as well as infrastructure development,” he said.
Before their dialogue, Duterte mentioned in a chance interview with the media that he would convey to Abe issues of mutual interest in the region, especially “about COC [Code of Conduct] and, of course, trade and commerce and the [Korean] peninsula.”
Also, during the meeting, the Prime Minister extended Japan’s deepest condolences on the recent natural calamities that the Philippines had experienced.
“I once again would like to express my condolences for your loss as well as those who lost their lives in the multiple typhoon disasters in the Philippines,” Abe said.
Duterte then thanked the Japanese government for the assistance it extended to the Philippines. (PNA)
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