Japan’s Abe enjoys folksy Duterte diplomacy in Davao


DAVAO CITY: With a visit to President Rodrigo Duterte’s bedroom, having one of the world’s rarest birds named in his honor and guided by a sockless host, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a morning to remember on Friday.

Duterte, a charismatic politician known at home for his folksy charm, dropped many of the formal protocols normally associated with visits by a head of government as he took Abe on a tour of his beloved southern home city of Davao.

Abe’s day began with a visit to Duterte’s “simple home” at Doña Luisa Subdivision in Matina District, for a breakfast of sticky rice cakes and monggo or mung bean soup, a presidential aide said, with the leaders dining at a wooden table before heading for a look around Duterte’s house.

“We also showed him how the President enjoys the comfort of his own bed, including his old and favorite mosquito net,” Duterte’s special assistant, Christopher “Bong” Go, wrote on Facebook alongside a photo of the leaders smiling while standing next to the bed.

MATINAVisiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (above, right) reaches the inner sanctum of the Duterte family’s green bungalow in Davao City.

The two, he said, were at Duterte’s home for 45 minutes and stayed in the bedroom for 10 minutes.

Abe was accompanied by his wife Akie. With Duterte was his common-law wife, Honeylet Avanceña.
Abe’s eagle

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe exchanges gifts with President Rodrigo Duterte

The leaders later had a casual meeting at a hotel overlooking the sea, where Duterte was photographed in a checkered shirt and long pants but no socks — a familiar look for the 71-year-old who takes pride in his informal fashion style.

Abe’s next activity saw him standing in front of a stuffed Philippine eagle, the national bird and one of the world’s most endangered.

A ceremony saw Abe “adopting” a two-year-old eagle named “Sakura” after the famous Japanese cherry blossom.

The Japanese premier was given a photo of the eagle, which is kept at a nearby sanctuary, as well as a fluffy toy version draped in indigenous clothing.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gets a Philippine eagle stuffed toy.

He also visited a former Japanese settlement in Mintal, known as “Little Tokyo,” which was home to Japanese migrants who established abaca plantations in the district prior to World War 2.

Abe, normally blue-suited and politically conservative who nevertheless showed off his fun side last year when he dressed up as video game icon Super Mario at the Rio Olympics’ closing ceremony, appeared to enjoy the day.

He smiled and laughed throughout the eagle ceremony, and ended his Davao trip at a Japanese-language school where he was greeted by singing and flag-waving children.

Abe was the first foreign leader to visit the Philippines since Duterte took office just over six months ago.
His two-day trip began on Thursday with a much more formal itinerary in the capital of Manila, where he held meetings with Duterte at Malacañan Palace and announced a ¥1-trillion (P430-billion) package of aid and investments for the Philippines.

Abe was also the first head of government to visit Davao, the largest city in the southern Philippines that is 1,500 kilometers from Manila.

Duterte, a longtime mayor of Davao before becoming president, has made developing the southern Philippines a top priority, arguing the region has been neglected by “imperial Manila.”

Abe flew from Davao to Australia on Friday afternoon as part of a trip that will include Indonesia and Vietnam.



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  1. A short prayer:

    Father God! I thank You for the friendship we made with Japan. I thank You for making Philippine a Czar of Peace. Thank You for the wisdom You have bestowed upon the hearts and mind of our leaders. I speak blessing and wellness to the land of The Rising Sun. For they are our brothers too. I speak blessing, good health, bountiful welfare and protection to their Leaders and citizens of this nation.

    May You create a big-big noise in their land and it is the clanging chimes of Your glory and salvation. Thank You that You have raised nations to be our friend for a purpose. Seal a lasting friendship with Japan and the rest of Nation in the world with Philippines.

    May our leaders join hands and do mighty exploits for the love of life and for the good of many. But all the works of evil will be trampled down to the ground in Jesus Name!

    And for the Nations who chose You and Your righteousness –Blessing and protection will be their portion!

    In Jesus most precious name I pray! Amen!

  2. Japanese are the most polite people in Asia. Do you think the Japanese people like the President Duterte personality rude, aggresive, nasty, impolite?? President Dueterte personality are exactly the same like people from North Vietnam. That why he can get along so well with Vietnamese leaders, they met people like him everyday. He can settle in Hanoi comfortably without any problem.

    • What is your problem HA? Have you seen the smiles and laughter of Prime Minister Abe and his wife while interacting with the President, and the people of Davao? Have you missed that moment when the Prime Minister responded to that ‘give me five’ gestures of children? Those are REAL interactions of friendship. Why did the Prime Minister of Japan visited the house of the President of the Philippines, toured itand stayed for 10 minutes on the bed of the President for a talk? Can you name any head of state in the world who was able to do this to his co-equal? President Duterte’s REAL personality is so enigmatic, full of charisma and wit that only those who are very close to him could fathom. Have you read Japanese impressions after they watched the visit of their Prime Minister in the Philippines? They were happy, proud, and some cried out of joy and they ALL have positive feed backs about the Filipinos. YOU and your negative attitude make this page ugly.

  3. The first Phil. Pres. to show his ordinary bed and mosquitero to a head of a rich country. The house is more or less similar to a common middle class home in Japan. PDU30 made a new model for diplomacy- Filipino barkadahan style. Kanpai!