Pack up and leave, for­eign busi­nesses told

> Duterte launches an­other anti-Amer­i­can tirade be­fore fly­ing to Ja­pan

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

TOKYO: Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte ( pix) yes­ter­day urged for­eign busi­nesses in the Philip­pines wor­ried about his deadly drug war to “pack up and leave”, as he launched an­other anti-Amer­i­can tirade be­fore fly­ing to Ja­pan to at­tract in­vest­ments.

Duterte voiced out­rage at com­ments the pre­vi­ous day by the top US en­voy to Asia that his fiery rhetoric and crime war, which has claimed about 3,700 lives in four months, were bad for busi­ness.

“These Amer­i­cans are re­ally crazy. Their style is to walk here. They think they are some­bod­ies,” Duterte said, as he held up a news­pa­per with head­lines re­port­ing the crit­i­cism from US as­sis­tant sec­re­tary of state Daniel Rus­sel.

“Rus­sel says ‘Duterte com­ments caus­ing wor­ries in busi­ness com­mu­ni­ties’.

“Then you pack up and leave. We will re­cover, I as­sure you,” the 71-year-old said.

Duterte then flew to Ja­pan, one of the top US al­lies in Asia, for a three-day visit that is partly aimed at build­ing on two-way trade of more than US$18 bil­lion (RM75 bil­lion) last year.

“With Ja­pan as the Philip­pines’ top trad­ing part­ner, I shall seek the sus­tain­ment and fur­ther en­hance­ment of our im­por­tant eco­nomic ties,” Duterte said in pre­pared re­marks at Manila air­port.

“I look for­ward to meet­ing busi­ness lead­ers in Ja­pan. I will tell them clearly that the Philip­pines is open for busi­ness.”

Duterte will meet with Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe and have an au­di­ence with Em­peror Ak­i­hito dur­ing the trip, which fol­lows his state visit to China last week.

Duterte, a self-pro­claimed so­cial­ist with close links to com­mu­nists, an­nounced in Bei­jing the Philip­pines’ “sep­a­ra­tion” from the United States, throw­ing into doubt a 70-year al­liance that is an­chored on a mu­tual de­fence treaty.

He quickly walked back from his com­ments af­ter re­turn­ing from China, say­ing “sep­a­ra­tion” did not mean he would “sever” ties and that the US al­liance would con­tinue.

But his anti-Amer­i­can vit­riol also con­tin­ued.

Duterte said yes­ter­day he was not a “lap­dog” of the US, and again voiced anger at Amer­i­can and Euro­pean crit­i­cism of ap­par­ent ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings on his watch.

“Do not make us dogs. Do not. As if I am a dog with a leash and then you throw bread far away that I can­not reach.”

Ja­pan, which is wary of China, sig­nalled it would be look­ing for clar­i­fi­ca­tion from Duterte about his for­eign pol­icy plans.

“It is im­por­tant to have good com­mu­ni­ca­tion and to lis­ten di­rectly to what Mr Duterte has in mind,” Ja­panese for­eign min­is­ter Fu­mio Kishida said. – AFP

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