Japanese First Lady Akie Abe visits Japanese cemetery in Davao City, 13 Jan. 2017

Davao City — Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, visited Mintal Public Cemetery here on Friday as she joined her husband in a two-day official visit in the Philippines.

The village of Mintal is called the “Little Tokyo of Prewar Philippines” as it used to be the home of several Japanese nationals who came here to work in abaca plantations about a century ago.

Local folks cheered and greeted Akie upon her arrival. She was accompanied by Honeylet Avanceña, common-law wife of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Akie offered a wreath at the Monument of the Dead.

She also visited the Monument of No Regret to commemorate the long friendship between Davao and Japan. The friendship monument was built in 2013 when Duterte was still the mayor of the city.

After the ceremony, Akie interacted with the people in the community before leaving the historic place.

Before going to the cemetery, Akie and Abe enjoyed a hearty breakfast hosted by President Duterte in his humble home.

Heart of banana salad, monggo soup, variety of rice cakes, black tea and buko juice were included in the food items served to the Japanese guests, according to Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag.

“It was something comfortable for both of them,” said Banaag when asked about the mood during the extraordinary occasion.

“He (Abe) enjoyed the simplicity because it is not something that’s Japanese. It’s something new to him,” she added.###Maro-Content