Abe visited, the Philippine

Abe met Duterte in the Philippines for for two day on Friday, a week ahead of the inauguration of the next US president, Donald Trump.

Abe and his wife on Friday visited the Philippine presidential couple’s private residence in the southern city of Davao for breakfast.

The two leaders then went to a hotel for talks attended by some Philippine cabinet ministers, and exchanged views on regional situations.

Duterte referred to the importance of the Philippines’ alliance with the US and suggested that he will cooperate with the country.

Abe said US engagement is needed to secure peace and prosperity in Asia. He added that Japan will coordinate policies with the Philippines.

Duterte told Abe that he hopes to settle the Philippines’ dispute with Beijing over the South China Sea peacefully based on international law, and that he wants to hold direct talks with China.

Abe referred to an international arbitration tribunal’s ruling last year on a case brought by the Philippines against China. The tribunal dismissed China’s claim.

Abe said Japan will coordinate views with the Philippines and wants to stress the principle of rule of law at this year’s meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

Abe later left for Australia, where he is to meet the country’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.NHK

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