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Philippine Embassy in Japan Hosts Diplomatic Reception in Commemoration of the 124th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence

13 June 2022 – The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, Japan commemorated the 124th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence with a diplomatic reception held on 10 June 2022 at the historic Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.

There were around 300 attendees, including members of the diplomatic corps, Japanese Government officials, business executives and Embassy personnel. This was the first in-person diplomatic reception of the Embassy since 2019. The event featured the Philippines’ history, heritage, culture, products and destinations.

The theme of this year’s Philippine Independence Day celebration is “Kalayaan 2022: Pagsuong sa Hamon ng Panibagong Bukas” or Rise Towards the Challenge of a New Beginning.

In his remarks, Ambassador Jose C. Laurel V thanked the Government of Japan for their continued support for the well-being of more than 300,000 Filipinos currently living and working in Japan. He also expressed his appreciation to the captains of Japanese industry for their continued engagement in the Philippines. Ambassador Laurel shared that even amidst the pandemic, Japanese investments to the Philippines had an astounding average annual growth from the period 2016 -2019 to 2020 – 2021 of 45.2%. The Philippines needs to sustain this momentum through deeper and broader cooperation with its Japanese partners.

The reception was made even more special by the attendance of officials such as the Guest of Honor, the Honorable Kiyoshi Odawara, State Minister for Foreign Affairs. Also in attendance among all the distinguished guests were Hon. Seiko Noda, Minister of State for Special Missions, Hon. Hirofumi Ryu, Chief Secretary of the Japan – Philippines Parliamentary Friendship League (JPPFL) and Ambassador Manlio Cadelo, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

PHL Ambassador to Japan, H.E. Mr. Jose C. Laurel V (left) with Hon. Kiyoshi Odawara, State Minister for Foreign Affairs (right)

State Minister Odawara came straight to the reception from his recent trip to the U.S. in which Japan secured a non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council. In his speech, State Minister Odawara recalled attending a meeting with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in 2016. And how after six years, Japan-Philippines relations were navigated into their “Golden Age” with achievements in fields such as infrastructure-related cooperation, security cooperation and human resource development. He stated that the Japanese Government will continue to deepen the bilateral cooperation with the incoming administration in the Philippines toward a “Free and Open Indo-Pacific.” State Minister Odawara also expressed his sincere gratitude to Ambassador Laurel “for having facilitated such magnificent achievements during his five-year tour, as well as years of devotion by the entire Laurel Family for the friendship between our two nations.”

Other highlights of the reception include the exhibit area prepared by the various Philippine government agencies represented in Japan – Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center, and the Department of Tourism. Some of the products showcased include Barako coffee made of Liberica Beans and highland bananas. Filipino food like the famous adobo, pansit, kaldereta or beef stew, lumpia, and turon formed part of the buffet.

And, as a second part of the program, there was music, songs, and dances by talented artists, both Filipino and Japanese, who all have a common interest of sharing Philippine culture here in Japan. The performers include Ms. Gow, Ms. Beverly, Philippine Cultural Dance Troupe of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and the Pinoy Rondalla Tokyo. Through the reception, the guests enjoyed the various tastes, sights and sounds that the Philippines has to offer.

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