"Japan has really been our biggest helper," Duterte said on a visit to Tokyo last October when he met Abe. However Abe is the first head of government to visit the Philippines since Duterte took office. Abe and Duterte are scheduled to meet in the presidential palace on Thursday afternoon, the Philippine foreign affairs department said. Abe will also visit Duterte's home town of Davao in the southern region of Mindanao, where Japan has supported the peace process with Muslim rebels through development and poverty eradication programmes. Japan was the Philippines' top trading partner in 2015, with $18 billion in trade, according to official figures.
Source: The Nation Bangkok January 12, 2017 08:45 UTC