Duterte off to Japan; accompanied by 16 Cabinet members
President Rodrigo Duterte, accompanied by 16 Cabinet members, left for Japan on Tuesday afternoon.
Taking a private plane at 4:52 pm at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Duterte and the members of his delegation are expected to arrive in Tokyo at 9 pm (local time).
While Duterte is on a trip abroad, he appointed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra as officer-in-charge.
Accompanying Duterte are Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Pinol, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Also with the delegation are Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Pena, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, and Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernest Pernia, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, reconciliation and Unity Carlito Galvez Jr. are also joining.
Duterte is on a three-day visit to Japan to attend the Nikkei 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia.
At the sidelines of the forum, he is set to hold a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Duterte will also attend a business forum, a roundtable meeting with the Japanese companies, and a meeting with the Filipino community.
Lopez earlier said that during Duterte's trip to Tokyo, the Philippine and Japanese firms are expected to sign over 20 business agreements, amounting close to P300 billion ($5 billion) and a projected employment of at least 80,000 jobs.
Duterte is expected to return to Manila before dawn on Saturday. Celerina Monte/DMS