Published: Wed, November 01, 2017
Medical | By Garry George

'I am hungry': Duterte jokes during toast remarks in Japan visit

'I am hungry': Duterte jokes during toast remarks in Japan visit

On Monday, Abe and Duterte were also likely to discuss Tokyo's assistance for the rehabilitation of the southern Philippine city of Marawi, which has been devastated after five months of fighting.

"I am glad to be back from Japan".

"This covers huge impact and high value infrastructure projects that my country needs to sustain and spur our economic growth".

Japan is closer than a brother, Duterte said.

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.

Within 12 hours of being assured a big win in the Oct 22 general election, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on the phone with United States President Donald Trump.

Abe also tried to break the ice that evening by recalling his visit to Davao City last January.

"I am committed to work closely with him to ensure that projects proceed soonest and it will be done", he added. "There will be some of the most ambitious and groundbreaking projects, including the Metro Manila Subway project, and major developments in the regions and provinces", 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 a year ago.

Duterte also said he met with industry leaders who signed business agreements valued at $6 billion, or three times the amount sealed business deals in his first visit to Japan previous year.

"This is more than three times the amount of sealed businesses agreements during my first visit to Japan in 2016", Duterte said.

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.

In addition, Lopez disclosed that he met with his Japanese counterpart, Minister Hiroshige Seko, to discuss improving market access and lowering tariff for the Philippines' agricultural products such as banana, pineapple, mango, as well as Japan's support for Industrial Co-operation Dialogue and improving supply chain for the benefit of micro, small and medium enterprises in the Philippines.

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