DUTERTE TRANSCRIPTS: Toast Remarks, State Banquet. 12 Jan 2017

(Note from MindaNews: This is the official transcript of President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech, released by the Presidential News Desk of the Presidential Communications Office)

Presidential Communications Office

Presidential News Desk 

[Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace | 12 January 2017]

Your Excellency Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Madam Abe, distinguished members of the Japanese delegation, fellow workers in government, friends, ladies and gentlemen.

Tonight is a welcome and a much-awaited reunion. Just four months ago, I was in Tokyo discussing in earnest with Prime Minister Abe ways to define the strong and strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan.

By all accounts, that visit was a success, with both sides agreeing to chart a common path towards a deeper and even more meaningful engagement.

Prime Minister Abe’s presence in Manila today is proof positive that Japan and the Philippines are fully committed to bring this long standing friendship and tried and tested partnership to even greater heights.

Our discussions earlier today moved us to a new level, closer to the achievement of common goals of ensuring a stable and more secure environment for our nations and our peoples to continue to grow.

We resolved to strengthen maritime and security cooperation, advance the cause of peace and development in Mindanao, intensify economic and trade cooperation, and to address the scourge of the illegal drugs trade in a comprehensive manner.

The agreements we signed today show that on all fronts, we are moving forward together as only true friends can. We are friends who treat each other with mutual respect and trust. We are friends who are bound by a shared common resolve to uphold democracy, adherence to the rule of law and a peaceful settlement of disputes.

And we are friends who constantly seek to invigorate relations through cooperation. Indeed, allow me to say again tonight that ours is a special friendship whose value is beyond any measure. As countries and peoples that have a shared and meaningful history, we can look forward with confidence to a brighter future filled with ever-expanding opportunities for working together.

Tomorrow, Prime Minister Abe will visit Davao City. As a son of Mindanao and former mayor of Davao, I welcome this sincere gesture. His visits to Manila and Davao are record setting and a highlight of genuine desire to connect with the Filipino people. Prime Minister Abe is the first head of government to visit the Philippines in 2017 and during my first term. And he will be also the first leader that I will welcome in Davao City during my presidency.

In Tokyo, I said that Japan deserves its own rightful place in the constellation of the Philippines’ friends. Tonight, let me reiterate that Japan is a friend closer than a brother. That means that Japan is a friend unlike any other.

On this note, I therefore ask everyone to raise their glasses.

To Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress, for their continued good health and benevolent reign.

To His Excellency, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, for your strong and wise leadership.

To the people of Japan for your generosity and prosperity.



Presidential Communications Office
Presidential News Desk

[Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace | 12 January 2017]

President Duterte, thank you very much for your rousing welcome and heartwarming hospitality and for inviting us to this magnificent banquet tonight.

Since Mr. President took office we had a total of three meetings including the one that we had today. And every time we see each other, we realize deepening friendship between the two and I am extremely delighted to establish such relationship with Mr. President.

The relationship between Japan and the Philippines is deep, warm and brotherly or family-like relationship.

President Duterte built a monument with his own money when he was still serving as the mayor of Davao City in honor of the friendship between Japan and the Philippines. The monument of no regret [Ureinashi No Hi?] has a plaque inscribed with a Japanese message of Mr. President. In English, it says: “Every human being is my brother, my sister and my child.”

And I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation for President Duterte’s heartfelt gesture of welcoming our Japanese people as family members here in the Philippines.

Back in October when President Duterte visited Japan, we had an unexpectedly long, long small group discussion way beyond the planned schedule. On that occasion, there was nothing and I did not serve alcoholic drinks but still, we had such an active dialogue and discussion. And I am confident that it was only possible because President Duterte was mesmerized by the Japanese cuisine Washoku that I prepared for him.

As part of my delegation, there are a total of 24 Japanese business leaders representing prominent Japanese corporations. Everyone loves the Philippines and I do hope that my visit this time will pave the way for further expansion of bilateral relationship not only in economic context but also in the areas of cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

Almost everyone in my delegation will visit Davao City, Mr. President’s home city, with me tomorrow and as you can imagine everyone is very much looking forward to the visit.

With that, I’d like to now propose a toast for good health and happiness of Mr. Duterte and all of our guests and for the strengthened bond and friendship and cooperation between Japan and the Philippines.

Mabuhay! Kanpai!