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Philippine president assures Japan his visit to China was all about economics

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gave his assurances to Japan on Tuesday that his high-profile visit to rival power China last week was all about economics, but again suggested defence ties with longtime ally Washington may be overhauled.

[TOKYO] Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gave his assurances to Japan on Tuesday that his high-profile visit to rival power China last week was all about economics, but again suggested defence ties with longtime ally Washington may be overhauled.

"You know I went to China for a visit. And I would like to assure you that all there was economics. We did not talk about arms. We avoided talking about alliances," he told Japanese businessmen.

Mr Duterte's visit to Japan comes amid jitters about his foreign policy objectives after weeks of verbal attacks on ally the United States and overtures towards China.

"I would like to make it clear to everybody that we do not pick quarrels with our friends and neighbours but to me it is high time that the president stands up to his dignity as a people," he added.

REUTERS

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