Duterte wants to meet Abe again
President Rodrigo Duterte wants to meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Malacanang said on Monday.
In a press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte conveyed this during his meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Davao City last Saturday.
"The President also expressed his desire to meet Prime Minister Abe again to discuss developments in bilateral ties and assess ways of moving forward together on shared concerns," he said.
Asked if Duterte would go to Japan, Panelo said so far there was no plan.
"He just expressed his willingness to meet with the Prime Minister. We will be awaiting, of course, for the response of the Prime Minister," he said.
In 2017, Abe visited Davao City, while Duterte, since he assumed office in 2016, had visited Tokyo twice.
During Kono's three-day trip to Davao City, he vowed that Japan would further extend defense and maritime cooperation with the Philippines.
He also reiterated Tokyo's support in the peace process and in developing Mindanao.
Meanwhile, in the same press briefing, Panelo said the United States has committed $300 million as intelligence support for the Philippines.
"We welcome the United States' commitment in this particular matter in fighting terrorism. It only shows that our military alliance with the United States remains very strong. As we all know by now and the world, terrorism knows no boundaries, politics, religion and creed. It is the new evil in the world that strikes at every country and every continent and all member nations of the United Nations really should help and cooperate with each other to combat and crush terrorism," he said.
Panelo could not provide details on the US aid.
The US and Japan's pledges to boost Philippine security came following the twin explosions that rocked a cathedral in Jolo, Sulu on January 27, killing 22 people and wounding over a hundred others. Celerina Monte/DMS