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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, gestures to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as they review the troops during the welcoming ceremony at the Malacanang Palace grounds, Manila, Jan. 12, 2017 (AP Photo by Bullit Marquez).

Can the ‘Golden Age’ of Ties Between the Philippines and Japan Last Under Duterte?

Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017

While several foreign leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, were paying their first visit to the Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte in November for this year’s ASEAN Summit, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was making his second trip there in under a year. And it came just a few weeks after Duterte’s own high-profile visit to Tokyo.

Japan has emerged as the Philippines’ most robust bilateral relationship under Duterte’s presidency so far—so much so that he has begun calling this a “golden age” in their strategic partnership. But even with that progress and optimism, there are still key strategic questions that, if left unresolved, could complicate and limit relations between Manila and Tokyo during the remainder of Duterte’s tenure. ...

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