Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he is open to the idea of holding exercises between the defense forces of his country and Japan.

"Joint exercises? Yes, of course . . . No problem," Duterte told reporters while visiting the Japan Coast Guard's 3rd regional headquarters in Yokohama on the third and last day of his state visit here.

The Philippine leader, who has ordered the cessation of joint patrols between Philippine and U.S. forces in the South China Sea and their regular exercises over concern voiced by Washington over his bloody anti-illegal drugs campaign, said the matter was discussed "sort of in general terms" during his visit.