Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted a dinner for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the members of the Philippine delegation at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence in Tokyo.
Before inviting the guests for a toast, Prime Minister Abe said that Japan is greatly thrilled to see the beginning of a new administration in the Philippines. He added that the relationship between Japan and the Philippines is warm and family-like, and that he hopes for the development of the two nations’ future.
The Prime Minister also said that he had verified President Duterte’s passion for the Japanese cuisine Washoku, which is why he took the initiative to prepare such cuisine for the Philippine leader in the dinner that he hosted. He also recalled Dr. Jose Rizal’s visit to Japan in his youth, and when the Philippines’ national hero wrote down that the two countries would enjoy a good relationship in the future.
“As he envisioned a long time ago, we now enjoy the relationship, which has been developed in every area including political and economic cooperation as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges,” he added.
In response, President Duterte expressed the Philippines’ gratefulness for Japan’s warm concern and its continuous respect to the country and the Filipino people.
“This, I hold, gives Japan its right place in the constellation of the Philippine friends. Tonight, I say that indeed, a friend closer than a brother. Therefore, I say to you now, Your Excellency, maraming salamat. Thank you for all of your wise and strong decisions and to the people of Japan, for your generosity and prosperity,” the President ended.
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