News Release

President Duterte to hold bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Abe during Japan visit

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will hold a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe next week at Nikkei’s 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia, an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.

Immediately after delivering his keynote address at the Nikkei conference on May 31, President Duterte will meet with Prime Minister Abe, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Meynardo Montealegre said in a pre-departure briefing in Malacañang.

“This will be the 7th meeting between the two leaders taking place roughly about half a year since their meeting in November 2018 at the sidelines of the 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore,” said Montealegre of DFA’s Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs. “This will be an opportunity for both leaders to take stock of the progress of the strengthened strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan in both areas of our mutually beneficial cooperation.”

High on the agenda in the bilateral meeting will be defense and security, economic cooperation, infrastructure development, entry of Filipino skilled workers to Japan, Japanese assistance for the Bangsamoro region, as well as regional issues such as Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea, according to Montealegre.

Maintaining peace and stability in the region is a mutual concern to both the Philippines and Japan and the South China Sea is a central issue.

In the Nikkei conference, Montealegre said the President will likely assert Asia’s role in charting its own future as the country affirmed the larger international frameworks and mechanisms that paved the way to the Asian century that everyone now enjoys.

“He will likely also highlight how addressing domestic imperatives provides the conditions by which we will collectively shape Asia’s future,” he told Palace reporters.

The President is participating in this year’s conference upon the invitation of Nikkei Inc, marking his third visit to Japan since assuming office. His first visit to one of Asia’s economic powerhouses was in October 2016 and the second one was in October 2017.

The Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia is an annual meeting held in Tokyo, which gathers government and business leaders to share their respective assessment of Asia’s prospects and regional direction.

With its solid track record of featuring Asian leaders and speakers, the conference has earned a reputation of being one of Asia’s top foreign policy in economic fora.

This year’s 25th conference will be held on May 30 and 31 at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo with the theme “Seeking a New Global Order — Overcoming the Chaos.”

Other Asian leaders who are expected to attend and address the conference include Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheik Hasina, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, and Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

The deputy prime ministers of Vietnam and Singapore will also be in attendance along with ministers from Japan, Brunei, Myanmar, Thailand, and Indonesia. PND