Japanese Legislators Unite for Typhoon Haiyan Victims; Two Chambers of Japanese Diet Turn Over Donations

Speaker Bunmei Ibuki of the House of Representatives turns over the Chamber’s donation to Ambassador Lopez, in the presence of key Lower House members. (Photo: Mr. Mark Akim)

TOKYO, 02 December 2013 – In yet another demonstration of Japan’s overwhelming support for the Philippines in the wake of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), members of the two Chambers of the Japanese National Diet crossed party lines to lend financial assistance to disaster victims in affected areas.

In separate turnover rites, the House of Councillors and House of Representatives received Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel M. Lopez to turn over their respective donations and convey their messages of sympathy to the Philippines.

Speaker Bunmei Ibuki and Vice Speaker Hirotaka Akamatsu led members of the House of Representatives in handing over a donation of 2.4 million Japanese Yen representing the contributions of individual members of the Lower Chamber. “This is a multi-partisan gesture through which we convey our thoughts of cooperation and friendship with the Philippines”, Speaker Ibuki said. “Japan will never forget the kind, warm and quick help of the Philippines to Japan following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.”

House of Councillors President Masaaki Yamazaki turn over the Chamber’s donation to Ambassador Lopez in the presence of key Upper House members. (Photo: Mr. Mark Akim)

At the Diet’s Upper Chamber, House of Councillors President Masaaki Yamazaki and Vice President Azuma Koshiishi turned over 1.21 million Japanese Yen, also coming from the individual contributions of all Upper House legislators. President Yamazaki conveyed the Chamber’s hopes for the early and speedy recovery and reconstruction of affected areas. “We intend to offer assistance in any way possible”.

On both occasions, Ambassador Lopez conveyed the heartfelt gratitude of the Filipino nation to the members of the Japanese Diet. “We have been touched by the outpouring of messages of support and assistance from Japan, from the Government, the members of its medical and emergency response teams, the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), and even private Japanese citizens who generously extended help in their own quiet way”. The mutual aid extended by the Philippines and Japan in the aftermath of their respective natural disasters are a testament to the strong bonds underpinning the Philippines-Japan Strategic Partnership, according to the Ambassador. END

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