MANILA — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived on Thursday for a two-day official visit in the Philippines.
On board an official plane, Abe and his wife Madame Akie Abe arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 2:55 p.m..
Abe, the first head of state to visit the country under Duterte presidency, and his wife received a red carpet welcome from Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Charge d’Affairs of Philippines to Tokyo Eduardo Martin Menez.
From the airport, Abe proceeded to the Malacanang Palace where the visiting Japanese leader received a warm welcome from President Rodrigo Duterte.
After the traditional signing of the guest book, Abe and Duterte are set to hold summit meeting and expanded meeting with Japan and Philippines business delegates.
President Duterte will host a state banquet before the Japanese Prime Minister will fly to Davao City on Thursday evening.
In Davao City, Abe is set to meet business leaders and to visit President Duterte’s house and a Japanese school Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku on Friday.
The Japanese Prime Minister’s visit is his third to the Philippines, having visited the country in 2013 and in 2015 when he attended the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.
The visit is in response to President Duterte’s invitation in October last year when the Filipino leader visited Tokyo.
President Duterte’s ‘productive’ visit in Japan yielded a total of 12 business agreements worth USD1.8 billion or roughly PHP86.4 billion.
Last year, Japan also donated patrol ships to the Philippines as symbol of strong partnership between two countries. PNA-northboundasia.com