DUTERTE TRANSCRIPTS: Welcoming Prime Minister Abe. 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

[Aguinaldo State Dining Room, Malacañan Palace  | 12 January 2017]


Your Excellency Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, distinguished members of the Japan delegation, colleagues in the Philippine government.

Welcome to the Manila, Prime Minister Abe. We are pleased and honored to host you and your delegation from Japan.

This is the very first official visit to the Philippines of a head of government under this administration.

This also demonstrates the shared commitment to further strengthen our important and valued strategic partnership.

Your Excellency, I look forward to a most productive meeting today.

We have the opportunity to take stock of the developments following my official visit to Tokyo in October 2016.

We can identify ways of building on agreements we have made on a wide range of issues that will benefit both our nations and peoples.

This include among others intensifying trade and investments, bolstering defense, securing just and lasting peace and development in Mindanao, strengthening law enforcement against criminality and ensuring maritime safety and security.

Let us continue to work together to achieve goals of a more stable and secured region so that our nations and peoples can enjoy more peace, progress and prosperity.

On that note, I would like to give the floor to Prime Minister Abe to make his opening statement.

PRIME MINISTER ABE: This is a tremendous honor for me to be invited as the very first foreign leader under your administration visiting Manila.

I chose the Philippines as my first destination this year and that is a testament to my primary emphasis on our bilateral relationship with the Philippines.

Back in October, I welcomed Mr. President in Tokyo and I am delighted to be back in Manila to see you again and after only a short interval.

And, moreover, tomorrow my wife and I will visit Davao, your home city, and that gives us a great pleasure.

Mr. President will serve as the ASEAN chair this year and I am ready to fully support your Chairmanship so as you have successful ASEAN-Related Summit Meetings and the East Asia Summit this year.

And together with you, I am committed to elevating our bilateral relationship to a higher ground covering a wide-range of areas.

And also let us work hand in hand in addressing various challenges of the Asia Pacific region.

And I very much look forward to having a very candid discussion with Mr. President today.