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President eyes 2nd visit to Japan

/ 04:31 AM October 07, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte may visit Japan to attend the ceremonial enthronement of Japanese Emperor Naruhito later this month but with a leaner delegation in tow.

The President said he personally felt that he “should be there” for the enthronement of the new Japanese emperor because of Japan’s steady help and aid to the Philippines.

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“Japan is, well, one of the countries that really helps us. One of the first. And this is my personal feeling, my sentiment, that I should be there. Even just for half a day,” he said.

At a press briefing in Davao City upon his arrival from Russia, the President said he would not be bringing many officials with him since the enthronement was the only agenda.

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The President arrived on Sunday afternoon from his five-day official visit to Russia, in which the government rented an entire aircraft for his delegation.

“But very lean. Since I’m the only one invited, I won’t be be bringing many people. There’s nothing to discuss there except for the event, the enthronement of the new emperor,” he said.

The President made the remarks contrary to Malacañang’s announcement last month that he would not be attending Naruhito’s Oct. 22 enthronement.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Chief Executive had much work to do and that he might be sending a representative instead.

Emperor Naruhito’s reign began on May 1 after his father, Emperor Akihito, abdicated.

Last official trip

Last May, the President was in Tokyo for a few days after Naruhito ascended to the throne, but he did not get a chance to meet the new Japanese emperor.

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During a bilateral meeting, the President and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the relationship between Japan and the Philippines will be more harmonious during Naruhito’s reign.

“With the accession of His Majesty Emperor Naruhito, there is renewed confidence that Japan’s ties with the Philippines—and indeed with the rest of the world — will be characterized by beautiful harmony,” the President then said.

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