PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte will leave the country on Monday afternoon, October 21, to attend the enthronement ceremony of Japan’s new Emperor Naruhito, Malacañang announced.
“The Palace confirms that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is leaving for Tokyo, Japan, today, October 21, to join other world leaders in witnessing the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
“The golden age of Philippines-Japan friendship has indeed started to unfold. [Duterte], as our Head of State, therefore believes that it is but proper to give honor to an important partner by being present at the enthronement ceremony which is considered by the Japanese to be one of their country's most momentous events,” he added.
Emperor Naruhito’s reign officially began in May this year after his father, Emperor Akihito, abdicated the throne.
The enthronement ceremony will formalize Naruhito’s ascension to Japan’s Chrysanthemum Throne.
It will be the fourth time for Duterte to visit Japan since he assumed office in 2016.
Panelo stressed that while the Duterte government upholds its independent foreign policy, it considers Japan as a “special strategic partner in various areas.”
He added that Manila “greatly” values its diplomatic ties with Tokyo.
“After all, Japan is our second major trading partner and fourth biggest source and market for Philippine tourism,” the Palace official said.
The President’s working visit to Japan in July led to the signing of 26 business agreements worth P288 billion, which are projected to create 82,737 jobs in the Philippines.
Panelo acknowledged that the signing of the business deals clearly shows Japan's vote of confidence in Duterte’s method of governance, as well as in the country's current economic prospects.
“Japan has also been the largest Official Development Assistance provider to the Philippines. It has contributed to our infrastructure development, which includes utilizing Japanese technology and expertise to support the country’s first subway project which was inaugurated under [Duterte’s] leadership,” he said.
“In addition, Japan has generously assisted our government in the latter's peace and development efforts in Mindanao, such as the rehabilitation of Marawi,” he added. (NASE/SunStar Philippines)