Duterte to discuss NKorea with Japan's Abe

Defence officials call on Nth Korea to avoid 'provocations'

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte returned Tuesday night from what he described as a "most productive and engaging" official visit to Japan where he obtained support for the country's infrastructure development, counterterrorism efforts, and rebuilding of war-torn Marawi City, among others.

"I suppose that I have to limit my mouth there, except maybe to bring the warm greetings of the Filipino nation, a grateful nation to Japan, as a matter of fact".

During his three-day Japan trip, the President said he would raise several issues, especially the region's security amid potential threats, during his dialogue with Abe.

Lopez met with his Japanese counterpart, Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko, to discuss the improvement of Philippine products' market access to Japan and the lowering of tariffs for the county's agricultural products such as banana, pineapple and mango.

The meeting between Duterte and Abe took place ahead of two key regional meetings in November where they are expected to again cross paths: the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam and the East Asia Summit in the Philippines.

"Many more projects will be rolled off under Japan's trillion yen or close to $9 billion pledge of assistance".

Abe, for his part, said he was impressed with how the video of his visit to Duterte's house in Davao City past year gained millions of views.

"I would have to also listen to him, what he has to say".

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The aid package to the Philippines over the next five years was initially offered by Japan back in January when the Prime Minister visited the country.

"I am very happy with Japan's commitment to help Marawi", Ejercito said, adding: "With their pledge to undertake subway project for Metro Manila, it is like a dream come true for me".

"We will strive to make our waters free and open to our peoples so that they can enjoy our rich natural maritime resources", he said.

Data from the PSA also showed Japan was one of the top buyers of Philippine goods in August.Exports during the period rose by 9.4 percent to $5.51 billion, from $5.04 billion previous year.

Lopez told reporters on Monday that the investments from Japan, the country's top trading partner, will benefit various economic sectors.

Another highlight in Duterte's second visit to Japan was his meeting with Japanese Emperor Akihito and wife Empress Michiko at the historic Imperial Hotel.

"And taking this opportunity, I would like to extend my honest appreciation and ask for your continuous support as we further develop this special relationship", he added.

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