Duterte off to Japan today


    PRESIDENT Duterte is set to fly to Japan this afternoon to attend the enthronement of Japanese Emperor Naruhito tomorrow.

    Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said the President has no other schedule in Japan outside the enthronement ceremony and banquets to be hosted by the Emperor and Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

    Duterte has said he will bring a very lean delegation to Japan with him.

    The President visited Japan in May this year but did not meet the new emperor then.

    The enthronement of Emperor Naruhito has been set on October 22, even if he assumed his duties on May 1 after his father Emperor Akihito abdicated on April 30.
    Some 400 foreign leaders and personalities are expected to attend the enthronement ceremony. The enthronement procession was postponed following the onslaught of typhoon “Hagibis,” which hit over the weekend, causing at least 78 deaths.

    The centuries-old enthronement ceremony is expected to be attended by some 2,000 people, including heads of state and other dignitaries from more than 170 countries.

    Naruhito’s proclamation will be followed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s congratulatory address. Abe will then lead three cheers for the new emperor, bringing the 30-minute ceremony to a close.

    About 16.1 billion yen ($148 million) has been earmarked for succession-related ceremonies throughout the year, including the enthronement.

    Guests include Britain’s Prince Charles, who along with Princess Diana attended Akihito’s enthronement ceremony, US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon.

    Also attending are Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Myanmar leader, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

    Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will also likely attend, according to domestic media reports, but their names were not on a list issued by the government on Friday. – With Reuters