Deepening Relations between RP & Japan

Article excerpt

Byline: Madame NORIKO YAMAZAKI

(Remarks delivered on the occasion of the Pearl Anniversary Celebration Dinner of the Philippines-Japan Ladies Association, 30 September 2005.)

MRS. Beatriz Laurel, the founding president;

Ambassador Sanvictores;

Mrs. Herminia Alcasid, president of the Philippines-Japan Ladies Association;

all the members;

distinguished guests;

ladies and gentlemen:

Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat.

Good evening and congratulations for the Pearl Jubilee of the Philippines-Japan Ladies Association!

I feel very honored and privileged today to make some remarks in front of you all. Tonight, three kinds of pearls are shining together in this hall, first, the beautiful South Sea pearls some of you are wearing, second, the pearls symbolizing purity in everyone's heart, and third, the pearls commemorating your thirty years. I can well appreciate that for the long-standing members, thirty years must feel both long and short, but never the less very fulfilling.

The marvelous power point presentation depicted the footprints of shaping true friendship between our two countries and peoples, and as well as of conducting various charity activities for the less privileged.

With regard to charity activities, let me thank this Association for helping the Charity Japanese Merienda organized by our embassy wives this June, to be successful. We had many participants from this Association and with additional donations, we were able to donate, among other things, 52 bed pads and two baby mattresses for children at Bahay Maria.

This year also marks the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II. There have been many anniversary ceremonies which my husband as Ambassador of Japan, has been fully attending. Especially at the ceremonies on Bataan Day in April and more recently the surrender of General Yamashita in Kiangan and Baguio, my husband was also given the opportunity to deliver a speech and to lay a wreath of flowers to pay respect to all the Filipinos killed or hurt by the atrocious conduct of the Japanese military. Furthermore, the Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin carried the full text of his Kiangan speech in their editorial page. We all can never deny the facts of the past and must learn from them. I am happy to note the reconciliatory and fair attitude on the part of the Filipino people to appreciate us, Japanese, as we are now, and to take a future-oriented outlook with a view to deepening the relations between our two countries.

In this connection, I want to reiterate my gratitude to all the members of this Association, both Filipinos and Japanese, for your tireless efforts to deepen the mutual understanding between our two peoples. What strikes a Japanese newcomer to your country is that Japanese traditional cultures such as Ikebana, Bonsai, Tea Ceremony, and Japanese healthy cuisine, which all seek harmony with nature, are highly appreciated and practiced here by leading ladies of your Philippine society, such as members of this Association. This has definitely contributed to the mutual understanding between our two countries.

I am the wife of an Ambassador, but today I don't have the intention of making a foreign policy speech, which my husband is paid his salary to do. My role here tonight is to show what my husband is not able to do: That is to present to you one woman's view of two aspects of present day Japan.

Ladies and gentleman,

The first aspect is related to the recent Aichi Exposition's theme called nature's wisdom.

Japan's present image is that it excels in preserving harmony with nature, with its beautiful landscapes and spot-clean cities, and that its advanced technology is wellapplied in many areas.

However, as you well know, during the 60s and 70s, nature was sacrificed for rapid higher industrialization, and pollution was prevalent in Japanese society. …