President Rodrigo Duterte is currently on his 2nd day on a three-day state visit to Japan, following his visit to China where he announced ‘split’ to US that turned the international crowd, particularly the US, into frenzy.
In relation to the announcement, Duterte assured the Japanese that he has no intention of forming a military alliance with China.
“I went to China for a visit and I would like to assure you that all there was, was economics. We did not talk about arms, we did not talk about stationing of troops, we avoided talking about alliances, military or otherwise,” he said in a speech in front of Japanese and Filipino businessmen.
Duterte went on to say that investments and trade were the central focus of his trip to China.
“What happened really, there was just a few platforms wherein investments could come in. You know, historically, we only have this short window in our dealings with China. With my visit, we hope that the window will come in a better light and bigger than usual so we can trade freely,” he said.
He also explained that he does not ‘pick quarrels with friends and neighbors’ rather, he stands up for the ‘dignity’ of Filipinos.
“I would like to make it clear to everybody that we do not pick quarrels with our friends and neighbors, but to me, it is high time that the President stands up to its dignity as a people,” he said.
Duterte: It’s never a state-sponsored killing
Duterte did not miss to talk about the controversial extrajudicial killings from his war on drugs campaign in the Philippines.
“It was never a state-sponsored killing but those were the in fightings of the police generals and some military men and a lot of policemen, 6,000 of them, cleansing and hoping they would make it clean before I assumed office,” he said.
His stance against drugs and criminality is so strong, he said that he is willing to go to jail for it.
“If you have the evidence, go ahead and file the case. I can rot in prison for my country,” he said.
Tirades to US and Praises for Japan
As expected, Duterte called Americans ‘stupid’ before a cheering audience in Japan.
But Japan received only good words from the outspoken president.
“Japan has really been our biggest helper,” he said, pointing to help with an airport and road-building projects.
“The fact is they are really so very kind.”
Even before Duterte left the country for Japan, he already expressed his desire for Japan’s cooperation on key infrastructure projects.
“In particular, we can tap the experience and expertise of Japan in developing high quality and modern public transportation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Japanese business leaders expressed interest to do business in the Philippines.
Duterte’s visit also unloaded worries of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who is concerned of pursuing bilateral relations that he had started from former PH president, PNoy Aquino.
Japan has a strong military alliance with US for years which Philippines have too, but is threatened to be stripped away soon by Duterte.
The president is scheduled to make a courtesy call on His Majesty Emperor Akihito of Japan today.