TOKYO, Japan — President Duterte on Tuesday, Oct. 25, met the Filipino community in Japan and expressed his gratitude to the Japanese for helping them find stable jobs.
“I would like to extend my gratitude to the Japanese people and government for hosting so many Filipinos and providing them work, gainfully employed in the country of Japan,” Duterte said in his meeting with the Filipino community at the Palace Hotel here in Tokyo.
The President cited that Japan has been very helpful to the Philippines, assisting the country in many ways.
“Japan po ang pinaka number one na tumutulong sa bayan natin [Japan is number one when it comes to giving aid to our country],” Duterte said, noting that the Japanese are very kind people.
Japan is the Philippines’ top trading and investment partner and leading source of development aid.
The President meanwhile reassured Filipinos that his administration will eradicate graft and corruption, drugs, and criminality.
Duterte arrived Tuesday for a three-day official visit to Japan, his first since he assumed office in June.
The meeting with the Filipino community was the first stop of Duterte’s three-day visit, where he will also meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday.
Duterte will be discussing security, economic and defense issues with the Prime Minister that is seen to continue Philippine efforts to bolster strategic partnerships with its Asian neighbor.
The President said he hopes that there will be no need for Filipinos to work abroad, especially the next generation.
“Sana ang trabaho nyo sa Japan, hanggang sa inyo na lang. Yung next generation, sa Pilipinas na [I hope that you are the last generation to work in Japan… the next generation should work in the Philippines,” he said.
He added, “I want to make life more comfortable for you. Pag umuwi kayo sa Pilipinas, huwag na kayong matakot [Don’t be afraid to come home].”
Duterte recalled, before he assumed the presidency, the Philippines was like an airplane that could not take off from the runway because of graft and corruption.
The President then called on overseas Filipino workers to be assertive should they find themselves being given poor service or are being subjected to extortion activities in government agencies and in public places like airports when they are back in the Philippines.
The Filipino audience kept applauding all throughout the President’s keynote address. PNA-northboundasia.com