Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono delivers a speech to demand the return of the Northern Territories, a group of islands held by Russia, at a national rally in Tokyo on February 7, 2019.
AFP/Kazuhiro Nogi
Japan's top envoy to visit the Philippines
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - February 8, 2019 - 10:59am

MANILA, Philippines — Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono will undertake a three-day official visit to the Philippines, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced Friday.

Kono will be in Davao from February 9 to 11 to meet with Philippine officials.

On February 10, the Japanese diplomat will hold bilateral discussions with Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

The two foreign ministers are expected to discuss areas of mutual interest, such as politicial economic and people-to-people engegament, particularly Tokyo's support for infrastructure development.

Japan had also expressed support for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law while several areas in Mindanao are holding plebiscites for the proposed measure.

Kono is also scheduled to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte and other Cabinet officials. He will also attend the inauguration ceremony of the Japanese Consulate General in Davao City.

"The visit of Foreign Minister Kono is a testament to the strengthened strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan, and an affirmation of our longstanding bilateral friendship," the DFA said in a statement.

In November 2017, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also visited Duterte's hometown for a two-day official visit.

In a rare diplomatic gesture, Duterte toured Abe in his Davao house, where the president prepared a breakfast of rice cakes for his Japanese counterpart.

JAPAN TARO KONO
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