Abe and Duterte also attended a ceremony to name an endangered Philippine eagle Sakura.
Davao, Philippines: With a visit to Philipine President Rodrigo Duterte’s bedroom, having one of the world’s rarest birds named in his honour and guided by a sockless host, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had a morning to remember on Friday.
He left for Sydney from southern Davao city, President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown, where the two shared breakfast of mung bean soup and rice cakes in Duterte’s residence in an apparent bid to strengthen personal ties.
Abe and Duterte also attended a ceremony to name an endangered Philippine eagle Sakura, or cherry blossom, in Abe’s honour. The two leaders and their wives ate durian fruit in a hotel garden as dancers performed to the beat of brass gongs.
Abe and his wife Akie were later welcomed by young students waving miniature Philippine and Japanese flags and singing Japanese songs at the Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku, a school established by descendants of Japanese who settled in Davao before World War II.
On Thursday, in Manila Abe welcomed Duterte’s efforts to boost ties with Beijing following the Philippines’ victory in an arbitration ruling declaring China’s claims to the South China Sea invalid.
China has refused to recognise the July arbitration decision and has warned the United States and other countries not to meddle in the disputes, which Beijing wants to be settled through one-on-one negotiations with other rival claimant countries like the Philippines.
Abe, however, said, “The issue of the South China Sea is linked directly to regional peace and stability and is a concern to the entire international community.”