Tokyo, Jan. 12 (Jiji Press)—Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō left Thursday for the Philippines, the first destination of a six-day tour of four Asia-Pacific nations.
Abe aims to strengthen ties with the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, and Vietnam to highlight the significance of multilateral cooperation involving the United States for the stability of the Asia-Pacific region amid uncertainties over the foreign policy of the incoming administration of US President-elect Donald Trump.
“I’d like to exchange opinions with leaders of the nations about bilateral issues and the regional situation, and hold frank discussions over how we should contribute to regional peace and stability,” Abe told reporters at Tokyo International Airport at Haneda before his departure.
Abe will hold a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manilla on Thursday, hoping to confirm their countries’ cooperation, including on the South China Sea.
Later in the day, Abe will move to Davao in the southern island of Mindanao, Duterte’s hometown, seeking to deepen his relationship with the president. It will be the first time for a foreign national leader to visit Davao, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]