Japan’s PM Abe arrives in PH for ASEAN-related summits

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Japan PM Shinzo Abe descends the plane that brought him to the Philippines Sunday afternoon. PHOTO COURTESY OF DOTR

MANILA – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe flew into the Philippines Sunday (Nov. 12) afternoon to attend a series of dialogues with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Japan is a key dialogue partner of the regional bloc which marks its 50th founding anniversary with celebrations coinciding with the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. Japan also enjoys robust bilateral relations with most of the 10 ASEAN members.

Besides the Japan summit with ASEAN as a dialogue partner, PM Abe is also attending the East Asia Summit.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade headed the planeside arrival honors for Japanese PM Abe at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Japan had earlier promised to provide funding and technological assistance for key transportation projects – notably Metro Manila’s first subway – as well as the rehabilitation of Marawi.

PM Abe was in Manila in 2013,and attended the 2015 APEC summit. He has declared deep admiration for President Rodrigo Duterte, whom he visited at his Davao home when he flew in for a two-day official visit last January.

The heads of state and government of the ASEAN members and the regional bloc’s dialogue partners including Abe and US President Donald Trump, will be feted at a gala dinner hosted by President Rodrigo Duterte Sunday night, to mark the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.- with reports by Gerard dela Peña and Camille Aguinaldo