President Duterte to tackle Asia’s role in charting own future in Japan visit

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PRRD to tackle Asia’s role in charting own future in Japan visit
By EJ Roque

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — President Rodrigo R. Duterte is expected to assert Asia’s role in charting its own future when he delivers his speech at the 25th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo, Japan next week.

“The President will likely assert Asia’s role in charting its own future even as we affirmed the larger international frameworks and mechanisms that have given birth through the Asian century we now enjoy,” Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Meynardo Montealegre said in a pre-departure briefing in Malacañang on Friday.

“Addressing domestic imperatives provides the conditions by which we will collectively shape Asia’s future,” he added.

Montealegre said Duterte is also set to hold a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the regional conference.

“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 broad areas of our mutually beneficial cooperation,” he said.

Montealegre said the President’s possible meeting with the Filipino community in Japan is being arranged.

“There are preparations for the possible meeting with the Filipino community, details of which are being finalized,” he said.

Duterte is slated to talk on the second day of the conference set on May 30-31.

The Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia is an annual meeting that gathers government and business leaders to share their respective assessment of Asia’s prospects and their ideas as to the direction Asia should chart for itself.

Other Asian leaders invited and confirmed to address the conference are Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad of Malaysia, Prime Minister Sheik Hasina of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, and Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos.

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

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said the Philippines is eyeing to sign two investment agreements with Japan in high-tech industries during Duterte’s third visit to Japan since he assumed office in 2016.

During his guesting at “The Virtual Presser” on May 16, Lopez said the DTI has received “a lot” of letters of intent from Japanese companies to invest and expand their businesses in the Philippines, with two deals ready for signing.

Moreover, Lopez said, the government may also review the Japan – Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) comprehensive bilateral trade and investment deal. (PNA)

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