Duterte, Abe to discuss West Philippine Sea in Japan

President Rodrigo Duterte and Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo will be discussing the West Philippine Sea among other issues of common concern in Japan.

President Duterte will be in Japan on May 30 and 31 for the 25th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia.

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Meynardo LB. Montealegre said during a pre-departure briefing that the meeting between Duterte and Abe “will be an opportunity for the two leaders to take stock of the progress of our strengthened strategic partnership in such areas as defense and security, economic cooperation, infrastructure development, the entry of Filipino skilled workers to Japan, Japanese assistance for the development of the Bangsamoro region, as well as exchange views on regional issues of mutual concern including the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea.”

Montealegre explained that “the peace and stability in the region is a mutual concern to both the Philippines and Japan. And the South China Sea is central in this regard.”

“So the Philippines for its part has always affirmed its commitment to uphold the principles of freedom of navigation and overflight, freedom of commerce and other lawful activities, exercise of self-restraint and the peaceful resolution of disputes,” he added.