TOKYO – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his wish for his country to be free of foreign military troops.
Duterte told an audience in Tokyo on Wednesday that he wants foreign troops out of his country, possibly within the next two years. He also said he is pursuing an independent foreign policy.
He was referring to visiting U.S. troops, who presence in five Philippine military camps was established under a security deal signed during Duterte's predecessor as a counterbalance to China's military assertiveness. But Duterte has cozied up to Beijing while criticizing U.S. foreign policy.
The Philippine leader is on a three-day visit to Japan. He is meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later Wednesday before attending a banquet hosted by Abe.