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8月16日のまにら新聞から

Japan-Phil ties improved greatly since World War II: ambassador

[ 736 words|2022.8.16|英字 (English) ]

By Robina Asido

LAGUNA- Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko stressed the big improvement in Philippine - Japan relationship, 77 years after the end of World War II, as he led a memorial service in a Japanese garden in Caliraya on Monday.

Koshikawa noted that it is the first time in three years that the memorial service to honor the war dead was held two years after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared all over the world.

"Very well...organized here in the Caliraya site this commemorative ceremony this year after three years. And also today I just reported, I informed the soul of the people who died that 80 percent of the Filipino people trust Japan. That is the best message I can convey to the people who died here," he said in an interview with the Daily Manila Shimbun after the ceremony.

"The heart of the forgiving Filipino people we appreciate. (We are) very grateful as we continue working very hard to keep our amicable relation and cooperation in many areas," he added.

In his message during the event, Koshikawa pointed out recent survey made by Pulse Asia which shows that Japan ranked third among countries trusted by Filipinos.

"Japan and the Philippines have expanded their cooperation in political, security, and economic fields, as well as personnel exchanges, and the relationship of trust and friendship between our two countries has never been deeper," he said.

"In a recent public opinion survey conducted in the Philippines, approximately 80 percent of Filipinos said that Japan is a country they can trust. We Japanese, who were entrusted with the postwar period, are proud to report to the spirits of the war dead that we have been able to build such a relationship between our two countries," he added.

According to the Pulse Asia survey on July 29, Japan is the third among the countries trusted by Filipinos garnering 78 percent. The United States got 89 percent and Australia was second with 79 percent trust rating.

In his message read during the ceremony, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. noted that Japan is one of the closest partners of the Philippines in the region.

"This year, too, we mark 66 years of the Philippine-Japan friendship that continues to grow and expand into various mutually beneficial areas of cooperation. Ours have become one of the closest partnerships in the region. One that moves towards our shared goals of peace, progress and prosperity, never wavering even in the midst of the ever-changing regional landscape, he said.

"It is my hope that we remain steadfast and committed to the ideals of freedom, human rights, and sustainable development of all our people and the entire humankind," he added.

Koshikawa also reiterated the commitment of the Japanese government to "never repeat the horrors of the war" as they continue to work hard to maintain peace and stability in the region.

"After the war, our country, Japan, has recovered well and established an honorable position in the world as a country that values peace. We have made a resolute vow never to repeat the horrors of war, and we have sought to realize a world in which all people can live in peace and contentment. We pledge once again to the war dead that we will make daily efforts to achieve this goal," he said.

Koshikawa recalled that "during World War II, more than 500,000 Japanese and 1,000,000 Filipinos lost their precious lives here in the Philippines."

"Standing in front of the Monument, which stands in a quiet forest in Caliraya, I cannot help but think about the sorrow of those who were wounded in the fierce war, who suffered from hunger and disease, and who were unable to step on the soil of their homeland again, thinking about the safety of their families left behind and the future of Japan, the homeland of their country. I cannot help but think of the spirits of all the war dead. I would like to express my deepest condolences to the souls of all the war dead," he said.

"I would like to close this memorial service by praying for the repose of the souls of the many who gave their precious lives and became the foundation of our country, as well as for the peace of the bereaved families, participants, and Japanese residents in Philippines, and for further friendship and goodwill between Japan and the Philippines," he added. DMS