Ever since President Rodrigo Roa Duterte came to power, he has been controversial both locally and internationally.
Duterte is very much admired by his people, the constant high trust ratings and the last mid term elections where almost all his supported candidates won are just a few examples of that admiration. In Japan, he also has caught up with the so-called ‘Duterte charisma.’ According to Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V, The Philippines under President Duterte is a “fascinating’ not only to their Prime Minister Shinzo Abe but also to the Japanese people. President Duterte was invited by Abe to attend the 25th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo — his third trip to Japan since he assumed office in 2016.
“It’s the Japanese that are in themselves fascinated by this government,” Laurel said in a press conference.
Laurel notes that the Japanese are particularly fascinated with Duterte because of his “quality leadership that leads the nation.”
“The Japanese are always fascinated with leadership that is recognized, affirmed by their own people at the same time a tremendous political will insofar as his programs are concerned,” he added.
Laurel said Duterte could have been admired by the Japanese for being able to “move the economy with trickled down effects.”
International media has described the Philippine president as “controversial” Ambassador Laurel said he believed the Japanese found him “interesting.”
“He is not controversial but interesting. Ibang klase (He’s unique) for the Japanese,” Laurel said.
No junket for this trip
President Duterte’s contigent is pegged at 200 composed of Cabinet officials, local government officials and their staff.
“Wala (No junket). Lahat naman eh imbitado kasi ‘yan ang imbitasyon ng Nikkei. (All of them were invited because that’s the invitation of Nikkei),” Laurel said.The Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia is an annual meeting that gathers government and business leaders to share their respective assessment of Asia’s prospects and their ideas as to the direction Asia should chart for itself.