Duterte invites Naruhito to Manila

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako

President Duterte invited Japan Emperor Naruhito and his wife Empress Masako to visit the country, Malacañang stated on Monday.

Rodrigo Duterte stretched the invitation during his bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this week in Tokyo, where he attended the Nikkei’s 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia.

Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a statement, “The President likewise conveyed the best wishes of the Filipino people to Emperor Naruhito’s ascension to the throne adding that it would be a great honor for our country to receive Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako in the future.”

Panelo added the visit would fortify the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan. The Palace official described the meeting between Duterte and Abe as “productive” and “fruitful.”

“Prime Minister Abe gave a heartfelt welcome to President Duterte, who he considers as his special friend, at the Prime Minister’s Office in the Akasaka State Guest House,” Panelo added.

“Prime Minister Abe expressed great delight to see the Filipino Chief Executive whom he last met in November of last year.”

Panelo noted that Abe also commended Duterte for the overwhelming victory of administration-backed candidates in the midterm elections.

“Prime Minister Abe likewise mentioned that he looked forward to a fruitful exchange of views with the President on various issues of mutual concern and interest, including assistance on the Mindanao peace process and infrastructure development in the Philippines,” Panelo said.

Duterte pronounced Japan as a “valued ally for peace, development and the rule of law.’”

“The Chief Executive emphasized that Philippines-Japan relations has an exemplary partnership built on shared values fostered over the years by mutual trust and respect,” Panelo concluded.

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