President Duterte and his delegation, including 16 cabinet members, leave for Tokyo, Japan

President Rodrigo Duterte salutes a military officer as he prepares to board a plane bound for Japan at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on May 28, 2019. The President is set to participate in the 25th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo. REY BANIQUET/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte, together with 16 members of his cabinet, left for Tokyo, Japan on Tuesday, May 28, to attend an international conference and to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

Duterte is set to deliver a keynote address at the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo, Japan on May 31, 2019.

The forum convenes government leaders, business executives, and academics from the Asia-Pacific region to discuss their assessments on the regional issues and the role of Asia to the world.

The President will also have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Abe where they are expected to discuss the following issues:  defense and security; economic cooperation; infrastructure development; entry of Filipino skilled workers to Japan; Japanese assistance for the Bangsamoro region; the Korean Peninsula and the West Philippine Sea.

According to Philippine Ambassador to Japan, Jose C. Laurel, Philippines and Japan “share an amiable and mutually beneficial partnership in different areas of cooperation such as security and defense, economic aspect, and tourism, among others.”

-More employment opportunities for Filipinos in Japan-

Last November, Japan adopted new rules that allow entry to foreign workers and the Philippines was given the opportunity to participate.

Among the possible employment opportunities for Filipinos include information technology (IT), manufacturing, and medical services.

“So what is that to the Filipino? It will mean that they can get good jobs in manufacturing,” Laurel said.

In anticipation of the influx of Filipino workers to Japan, he said the embassy is opening a new consulate in Nagoya, Japan’s central hub for manufacturing.

Japanese manufacturing heavyweights in Nagoya include Toyota, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Motors, and Noritake.

Today, there are roughly about 285,000 Filipinos in Japan, Laurel reported.

“And I predict that by the end of the year, there’s an additional 50,000 legitimate registered foreigners working here in Japan contributing to the welfare of the Japanese people and it is quite significant,” he said

The members of the cabinet who joined President Duterte in his third trip to Japan are the following:

1. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin,
2. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III
3. Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo
4. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat
5. Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez
6. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol
7. Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade
8. Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar
9. Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña
10. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi
11. Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio, Jr
12. National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Secretary Ernesto Pernia
13. Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar
14. National Security Adviser and Director-General of the National Security Council Secretary Hermogenes Esperon, Jr.,
15. Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity Carlito Galvez, Jr.,
16. Secretary to the Cabinet Karlo Nograles.

President Duterte and his delegation, including businessmen and other officials, are expected to arrive in Japan on Tuesday night.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra was designated as the officer-in-charge assigned to take care of the day-to-day operations, as well as the general administration of the Executive Department, while the President is away for his four-day visit in Japan.

This is the President’s third trip to Japan since he came into office in June 2016.