LOOK: Duterte meets Japanese Emperor Akihito, Empress Michiko

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 31) — President Rodrigo Duterte met for the first time on Tuesday Japanese imperial couple, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan.

Duterte, along with his common-law partner Cielito "Honeylet Avanceña" were received by the royal couple at the Imperial palace, a Malacañang press release said.

Speaking after his arrival from Japan, Duterte told media they discussed purely "social" matters during the meeting.

"The Emperor limits himself to social functions. We do not talk about policy of governments and even in matters of governmental concern on both sides," he said

Duterte also complimented the imperial couple's simple lifestyle

"You know what, I have been to many places and palaces of great leaders and people. This is the first time na nakita ko pinaka-simpleng palasyo," Duterte said.

"He lives very simply. The King is very spoken, lalo na 'yun si [Especially] Her Majesty Michiko," he added. 

Duterte also met descendants of former Japanese Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, whom he had posthumously conferred the Gawad Sikatuna, with the Rank of Raja.

The Order of Sikatuna is given to diplomats, officials, and nationals of foreign states who have "rendered exceptional and meritorious services" in strengthening relations between the Philippines and their respective countries.

Fukuda was recognized for his role in "helping usher in an era of cooperation, peaceful relations, trust and friendship between Japan and ASEAN, through his articulation of the 'Fukuda Doctrine' on 18 August 1977 during his visit to Manila," the citation said.

It also cited Fukuda's role in shaping Japan's relations with Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines.

Duterte returned from his two-day trip to Japan Tuesday evening.