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Duterte calls off courtesy call on Japanese Emperor Akihito
In Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 file photo, Japanese Emperor Akihito, left, and Empress Michiko arrive at the entrance hall to greet Belgian King Philippe and Queen Mathilde arriving for a banquet held by Akihito at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Experts on a government-commissioned panel were set to hold their first meeting Monday, Oct. 17, to study how to accommodate Akihito's apparent abdication wish, in a country where he is not supposed to say anything political.
Kimimasa Mayama/Pool Photo via AP, File

Duterte calls off courtesy call on Japanese Emperor Akihito

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - October 27, 2016 - 5:19pm

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte canceled his courtesy call on Emperor Akihito on Thursday following the death of Prince Mikasa, the oldest member of the Imperial House of Japan.

Duterte was supposed to meet with the Japanese emperor at the Shohiro-ma Imperial Palace on Thursday afternoon, however, the emperor's uncle passed away on Thursday morning. The prince had reportedly been hospitalized since May due to pneumonia.

Duterte was advised by his protocol officers to cancel his courtesy call out of respect. Duterte also expressed his deepest condolences to the emperor.

Duterte said he understand the advice of his protocol officers, saying that he would also request privacy if it happened to him.

Due to the canceled courtesy call, Duterte is expected to go back to the Philippines earlier than planned.

Japanese officials earlier expressed wariness ahead of Duterte’s visit. They said they were concerned not only about Duterte's foreign policy toward the US, but also about his informal style.

Duterte is in Japan for a three-day official visit to Tokyo upon the invitation of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

RELATED: Japan wary over Duterte's policy, manners

COURTESY CALL EMPEROR AKIHITO EMPEROR AKIHITO AND EMPRESS MICHIKO RODRIGO DUTERTE
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