Philippine President Duterte positioning the Philippines for a break with the US after visit to Tokyo

Philippine President Duterte visited Tokyo meeting with Shinzo Abe last week and is worth noting. Could probably speculate concluding that Mr. Duterte is probably seeking to open up better relations with China and to seek Chinese investments in the Philippines, while seeking further assistance from Japan in infrastructure development. Philippines has been used as a military staging location while the Philippines remains one of the poorest countries in Asia. It should be recalled that Emperor Akihito visited the Philippines earlier this year in February, so I am wondering if the visit is connected to Mr. Duterte’s visit to Japan last week?

The important point here is “infrastructure.” So while the US builds military bases all over the world, and can provide very little else, China and Japan build airports and high speed rail systems. If Mr. Duterte’s overtures of reaching out to Japan and China continues, we should expect him to make significant contact with other economic powerhouses in the region including with Russia and possibly Indonesia. Mr. Duterte is risking a direct confrontation with the US as he is attempting to place the the Philippines between two economic powers: Japan and China. Also note that Mr. Duterte apparently met with Emperor Akihito and this demonstrates just how serious the Japanese viewed Mr. Duterte’s visit to Japan. Can we expect Japan to at some point base its military in the Philippines?

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Source: Business Insider

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has taken his US-bashing to Japan

October 26, 2016

Rodrigo Duterte Shinzo Abe Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) is greeted by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the start of their meeting at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Tokyo (AFP) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was set on Wednesday to persuade Japanese executives his country is “open for business”, after upending traditional alliances by insulting the US and making overtures to China.

The acid-tongued leader arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday on his first visit to Japan since taking office June 30 — and immediately continued a tirade against longtime ally the US begun earlier in the day.

Duterte has vehemently criticised Washington for questioning his crime crackdown, which has claimed some 3,700 lives and attracted widespread international criticism — but has also sent the 71-year-old former mayor’s domestic popularity soaring.

He has insulted President Barack Obama, calling him the “son of a whore” and saying the Philippines can live without US assistance, though he walked back a statement in Beijing last week announcing a “separation” from the US.

On Tuesday in Japan, before a cheering audience of resident Filipinos, Duterte called Americans “stupid” — but went out of his way to praise his hosts.

“Japan has really been our biggest helper,” he said, pointing to help with an airport and road-building projects. “The fact is they are really so very kind.”

Duterte told reporters before he left that he was keen to boost bilateral trade and was looking forward to meeting top Japanese executives.

“I will tell them clearly that the Philippines is open for business,” he said, adding he wanted Japanese cooperation on key infrastructure projects.

“In particular, we can tap the experience and expertise of Japan in developing high quality and modern public transportation,” he said.

He is set to speak to Japanese business executives on Wednesday before holding a summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later in the day.

Duterte will also meet with Emperor Akihito during the trip, which follows his headline-grabbing state visit to China last week.

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