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Philippine Ambassador to Japan Administers Oath of Office of Two Filipino Graduates of the Prestigious National Defense Academy of Japan

Oath of Office. Ambassador Jose C. Laurel V (left) administers the oath of office of Charmaine Arcillas Lim (middle) and Aljan Osorio Esmeria as Second Lieutenants of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Both are graduates of the prestigious National Defense Academy of Japan.

Tokyo, 23 March 2020 – H.E. Jose C. Laurel V, Philippine Ambassador to Japan, administered the oath taking ceremony and donning of ranks of second lieutenants held at the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo to Aljan Osorio Esmeria and Charmaine Arcillas Lim, newly graduates of the prestigious National Defense Academy (NDA) of Japan.

The two were among the 20 foreign cadets of the 437 graduates of NDA in ceremonies held on 22 March 2020 and attended by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. The graduation ceremony at the NDA was scaled down in consideration of the CoVid-19 pandemic. Families of the graduates and other guests were not invited and only 18 graduates were handed diplomas during the ceremony which was broadcast live online for the first time.

The ceremony at the Embassy was witnessed by Col. Gleen Albert C. Laguardia, Defense and Armed Forces Attaché (DAFA), MSg Alejandro T. Santos II, Administrative Assistant to DAFA, and eight other Filipino undergraduate cadet scholars of NDA. Also in attendance were Mr. Yukio and Ms. Yukari Natou, Japanese foster parents of 2Lt. Esmeria.

2nd Lt. Lim received the Outstanding International Cadet Award on her graduation. Prior to her admission into the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), she finished a computer course at TESDA and was an undergraduate engineering student (4th year) at Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga City. She is the eldest among the three children of a retiree and a housewife. 2nd Lt. Esmeria was also an undergraduate engineering student (2nd year) at the Technological University of the Philippines in Taguig City before his admission into the PMA. He is the 5th child among the eight children of a retired enlisted military officer and a housewife. Both 2nd Lt. Lim and Esmeria will join the Philippine Air Force upon their return to the Philippines. The two were admitted into the PMA in 2014 and were sent to NDA as cadet scholars the following year.

Since 1996, the Japanese Government has offered full scholarship to PMA cadets to study at NDA under its international exchange program. The scholarship covers a 5-year program that includes a one-year Nihonggo language course and the four-year undergraduate courses in science and engineering. The NDA is the premier military academy of Japan established in 1952.

In his speech, Ambassador Laurel noted that his father, who also served as the Philippine Ambassador to Japan from 1966 to 1971, is a graduate of the same Japanese military academy in 1937. He was known as the first Filipino samurai until his death. “You had the great opportunity of learning Japanese culture over the years. Upon your return to the Philippines, bring with you the Japanese culture of discipline in your career and private life”, Ambassador Laurel told the graduates and the cadets. END.

Photo Opportunity. Ambassador Jose C. Laurel V (middle in suit) and Defense and Armed Forces Attaché Col. Gleen Albert C. Laguardia (in service blouse), together with the two newly graduates (in white duck) and eight Filipino cadet scholars (in dress blue) of the National Defense Academy of Japan.