The contradictory comments of Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte during his visit this week left Tokyo and Washington with one question: What is his true intent?

After weeks of insulting the United States and cozying up to China, the tough-talking leader seemed reasonable at Wednesday's summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Both agreed that the territorial dispute between the Philippines and China has to be solved based on the rule of law and without resorting to force.