Japanese PM visits Philippines on Asia tour

Shinzo Abe also due to visit Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam as part of Asia tour aimed at boosting security cooperation

Japanese PM visits Philippines on Asia tour

World Bulletin / News Desk

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Manila on Thursday, becoming the first head of the state to visit the country since the inauguration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Abe and his wife Akie Abe were welcomed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport where they walked the red carpet, local media reported.

A state dinner and lunch are due to be held in Abe’s honor by Duterte, who has also invited the Japanese leader to have breakfast Friday in his southern hometown of Davao City.

Abe’s two-day visit comes three months after Duterte traveled to Tokyo.

The premier is also scheduled to visit Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam as part of an Asia tour aimed at strengthening security cooperation amid what Tokyo considers China’s rising maritime assertiveness.

As Abe visited the Philippines, a protest was held in front of the Japanese embassy in Pasay City by women’s rights groups seeking to focus attention on the plight of colonial era victims of Japanese sexual slavery.

Local historians estimate up to 200,000 women from across Asia were forced to work in military brothels before and during World War II -- including an estimated at least 1,000 Philippine nationals.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said Abe "will be the highest ranking official to ever visit Davao, which is home to a large Japanese community".

Duterte and Abe "are expected to discuss a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to, counterterrorism cooperation, drug rehabilitation projects, infrastructure development, maritime cooperation, and development projects", said the statement quoted by the Rappler news website.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Ocak 2017, 14:32