For the third time, President Rodrigo Duterte will visit Tokyo to attend the annual Future of Asia conference in Japan at the end of this month, the Palace confirmed on Tuesday.
In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Chief Executive’s visit would expand Manila’s bilateral ties with Tokyo.
“What I know is the invitation was personally carried here by the representative of the prime minister. According to what I heard also is that when the President accepted that, the representatives of the prime minister came here to thank [Duterte],” Panelo told Palace reporters.
“Our trade relations will also improve greatly,” he added.
Asked if the Philippines can expect the signing of a memorandum of understanding and other agreements with Japan, Panelo said: “Hopefully.”
According to Japan’s Nikkei Inc., the Future of Asia is an “international gathering where political, economic and academic leaders from the Asia-Pacific region offer their opinions frankly and freely on regional issues and the role of Asia in the world.”
Duterte is also expected to deliver a keynote speech at the forum, which would be held on May 30 to 31. A total of 21 other leaders, including Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad, are also set to attend the said event.
This would be the President’s third time to visit Tokyo since he assumed the presidency in 2016. Duterte first visited Japan in October 2016 and went back for a second visit in October 2017.