Duterte assures Abe: PH will use West PH Sea ruling


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte should stick to economic and public security issues during his current visit to Japan, and avoid discussing sensitive topics since Japan is using the Philippines to interfere in the South China Sea dispute, experts said.

Mr Duterte's latest anti-US remarks came after he announced during a visit to China last week his "separation" from the United States in the military and economic spheres, while suggesting his country would be much better off aligning itself with China and Russian Federation.

Addressing growing tensions with the United States, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared today that he's very much like to expel all the USA troops from his country, saying he hates the idea of foreign military forces operating inside the Philippines.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte continued his rant against the United States after arriving in Japan for an official visit Tuesday (Oct 25), calling Washington a "bully" for chastising him over his bloody war on drugs.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang made the remarks in response to a question regarding Japanese media reports saying Japan and the Philippines reached agreement during Duterte's visit on respecting an global arbitration tribunal ruling over the South China Sea.

Duterte has threatened to abrogate defence agreements with the United States several times over the past two months, but has yet to take any concrete action beyond cancelling some minor navy patrol exercises.

The U.S. used to maintain military bases in the Philippines, a former U.S. colony, but in 1991, the Philippines voted to eject U.S. forces.

The Philippines took Beijing to an global tribunal over its extensive claims in the region and won a resounding victory in July.

Philippine navy Vice Adm. Ronald Joseph Mercado, commander of the military's Western Command, said the maneuvers including emergency diving procedures and operating sonar equipment were held in the western Philippine province of Palawan facing the disputed South China Sea.

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Describing his visit as a "defining moment in solid, strategic partnership between the two countries", Duterte mentioned various aspects of cooperation that were agreed upon - including respect for the rule of law, respect for basic human rights, and a free and open economy.

In addition to his finance, trade and other economy-related ministers, Duterte is also accompanied by about 200 businesspeople on his first visit to Japan since assuming the presidency. "This is a special friendship we hope to keep and continue".

Yoshihide Suga, Japan's top government spokesman, said on Wednesday that the government will continue to aid Philippine development, but he sidestepped whether relations with the U.S. will be a summit topic.

Filipino banana farmers could earn as much as P5 billion every year from exports to Japan under an agreement between the Department of Agriculture and Japanese company Farmind, the Philippines' agriculture minister said Thursday.

"Duterte, I beg you, please behave well at least in front of the emperor", said another Twitter post.

The two leaders did not mention the Japan-U.S. security alliance, or one between the Philippines and Washington.

The Philippines can do without help from the U.S., Duterte said in a speech at an economic forum in Tokyo.

The Philippine leader is on a three-day visit to Japan. It is also an important Pentagon counterweight to China, whose expansion plans into the South China Sea has dismayed the Philippines and other nations.