Updated 13:18 PM PHT Fri, January 13, 2017
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — President Rodrigo Duterte again met with a "special friend who's closer than a brother."
This was how he described Japan after his official visit there last October.
It's Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's turn to visit the Philippines.
Abe arrived in Manila Thursday afternoon for a two-day official visit. He was accompanied by his wife, First Lady Akie Abe.
Abe met Duterte in Malacañang before he flew to Davao City in the evening.
The two leaders were expected to discuss a wide range of topics, including counter terrorism, drug rehabilitation projects, infrastructure development, maritime cooperation, and development projects, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
Abe also talked to local business leaders and politicians in Manila and Davao.
In Davao, Abe was scheduled to visit a former Japanese settlement in Mintal, also known as Little Tokyo, which was home to Japanese migrants who established Abaca plantations in the district prior to World War II.
He also visited Duterte's home in Matina.
Abe is the first head of government to officially visit the Philippines this year.
The Philippines and Japan commemorated 60 years of diplomatic relations in 2016.
In October, Duterte said his meetings with Abe and other Japanese officials were productive in the areas of security, defense, and cooperation. He said ties between the two neighboring countries are "excellent."
Security tight for Abe visit
The Presidential Security Group is securing Abe's visit, along with the Davao City Police.
Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras were placed to monitor areas in and near the prime minister's itinerary, Davao's Public Safety and Security Command Center said.
The last prime minister to visit Davao City was Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad in 1994, authorities said.
CNN Philippines' Digital Producer Eimor Santos and Davao City-based journalist Ben Tesiorna contributed to this report.