Philippine Embassy - Tokyo, Japan > Ambassador Manuel Lopez Conferred the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by Japan

Ambassador Manuel Lopez Conferred the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by Japan

FM Kishida confers the Order of the Rising Sun on Ambassador Lopez.

Tokyo, Japan – Outgoing Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel M. Lopez was conferred the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Government of Japan last 17 June, in rites presided over by Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo.

The decoration recognizes Ambassador Lopez’s notable contributions towards the advancement of Philippine-Japan relations — widely seen by both governments and analysts as having intensified to their closest level yet over the past years.

Ambassador Lopez assumed his post on 17 January 2011. He presented his credentials to His Majesty Emperor Akihito three months later, on 07 April. Early in his term, Ambassador Lopez’s leadership showed through as he led the Philippine Embassy in looking after the welfare of Filipinos affected by Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011 and its aftermath.

On 30 June, Ambassador Lopez wraps up a fruitful tour of duty that will be remembered for landmark developments in Philippine-Japan ties. In 2011, Japan hosted the breakthrough meeting between President Benigno S. Aquino III and the MILF leadership that paved the way for peace talks and a peace agreement. Relations, meanwhile, were elevated into a “Strategic Partnership” that saw both countries pursue shared advocacies, including the rule of law and maritime security. His tenure also saw visits and dialogue at the highest levels, culminating in Japan’s hosting of President Aquino as a State Guest in June 2015, and the historic State Visit to the Philippines of Their Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko a little over six months later, in January 2016.

With the Philippines’ rise as one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, Japan also cemented its position as the Philippines’ leading economic partner, with bilateral trade, Japanese investments and official development assistance hitting record levels. Ambassador Lopez opened the Embassy’s doors to the Filipino community in Japan. His term was marked by key improvements in consular and other frontline services. He also cultivated active cooperation with Filipino organizations, resulting in major undertakings such as the annual Philippine Festival, the biggest Filipino event in Japan.

The Order of the Rising Sun, established in 1875, was Japan’s first official decoration, and its introduction marked the beginning of the honors system in Japan. END