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Ambassador Mylene J. Garcia-Albano and Honorable Shinjiro Koizumi at Hibiya Park

Ambassador Mylene J. Garcia-Albano and Honorable Koizumi Shinjiro in Hibiya Park

Tokyo, 30 November 2023 – Ambassador Mylene J. Garcia-Albano met Honorable Koizumi Shinjiro at Hibiya Park. Both officials visited the monument of Jose Rizal and the memorial marker of President Elpidio Quirino.

Hon. Koizumi observed that Prime Minister Kishida Fumio opened his policy speech to the Joint Session of Congress by recalling the pardon granted by President Quirino to the Japanese in the Philippines after World War II. Hon. Koizumi said that this led him to wish to see the memorial marker, reflecting how the decision of President Quirino laid the foundation for the strong friendship of the two neighbors.

Reading the message inscribed on the memorial marker which stands as a tribute to President Quirino’s pivotal role in normalizing post-war Philippine-Japan relations, both officials recalled President Quirino’s historic decision in 1953 to grant executive clemency to 105 Japanese serving sentences in Muntinlupa prison for their role in the war in the Philippines. Despite his own devastating personal loss when his wife and three children fell victim to Japanese actions as they fled their home in the 1945 Battle of Manila, President Quirino said, “I am doing this because I do not want my children and my people to inherit from me hate towards people who may be our friends for the permanent interest of our country. After all, destiny has made us neighbors.”

At the memorial marker of President Elpidio Quirino

Jose Rizal spent six weeks in Japan from 28 February to 13 April 1888. He stayed in Tokyo Hotel, on which site now proudly stands a monument that celebrates his journey to Japan. Ambassador Garcia-Albano recalled that Dr. Rizal recognized the need to have good relations with Japan, which he said was a country “with whom we will have much to do with in the future”.

At the Dr. Jose Rizal Monument in Hibiya Park

Emphasizing the positive trajectory of bilateral relations, both sides noted the number of high-level exchanges in 2023. President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. visited Japan in February, followed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit in November. Parliamentarians had an active year of exchanges in 2023.

The Ambassador and Honorable Koizumi underscored the robust bilateral economic partnership, with Ambassador Garcia-Albano sharing new developments in Japanese investments in the Philippines. Hon. Koizumi noted the significance of people-to-people exchanges and the valuable presence of Filipinos in Japan.

Ambassador Garcia-Albano presents Hon. Koizumi with the Japanese-written and illustrated manga on the life of Dr. Rizal.

Hon. Koizumi is a member of the House of Representatives of Japan, former Minister of the Environment, Minister of State for Nuclear Emergency Preparedness, and Minister in charge of Climate Change.