Japan’s PM visits the Philippines

Japan’s PM visits the Philippines

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe will arrive in the Philippines on Thursday for a two-day visit to Manila and President Duterte’s

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe will arrive in the Philippines on Thursday for a two-day visit to Manila and President Duterte’s hometown, Davao City. Abe will be the first head of state to make an official visit to the Philippines under Duterte’s administration.

Davao, where Duterte ruled for 20 years, has seen significant Japanese migration since the early 20th century and has benefitted from several Japanese aid projects. Though Japan is currently the Philippines’ largest source of official development aid, Abe will be wary of Duterte’s attempts to woo Russia and China in the face of US criticism over human rights violations. Rather, Abe’s visit to Davao may well be aimed at deepening his personal relationship with Duterte.

Mr Abe’s visit returns Duterte’s October trip to Japan, which yielded $1.8 billion in commercial investment. Earlier in August, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced plans to offer $2.4 billion in loans to build new rail infrastructure in the Philippines, a loan package that Abe is likely to confirm during his visit.