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Philippine Embassy in Tokyo Commemorates Dr. Jose Rizal’s 152nd Birth Anniversary

Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez and the officials of the Philippine Embassy offer flowers at the bust of Dr. Jose Rizal in Hibiya Park, Tokyo.

(20 June 2013) Ambassador Manuel M. Lopez led the officials of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo in commemorating the 152nd birth anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal at Hibiya Park in central Tokyo on 19 June 2013.

In his message for this occasion, Ambassador Lopez noted that Dr. Rizal served as a model not only for Filipinos but also for the people of other Asian countries like Japan. The Ambassador said that no less than Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe cited Rizal during the 19th Nikkei International Conference on “The Future of Asia” held in Tokyo on 23 May 2013. In that conference, Prime Minister Abe recognized Rizal’s espousal of education and freedom as forming the basis for the principles of Japan’s ASEAN diplomacy.

After the Ambassador’s message, Minister Josel F. Ignacio read the two quotations cited by Prime Minister Abe, which came from Dr. Rizal’s El Filibusterismo and an essay which he wrote in 1890 in the La Solidaridad. Minister Ignacio also shared with the Embassy officials excerpts from President Benigno S. Aquino III’s reflections on Rizal’s life.

A stone marker was erected in Hibiya Park in 1961 for the 100th birth anniversary of Dr. Rizal by three organizations in Tokyo – the Knights of Rizal, the Rizal Society of Japan and the Friends of Rizal. The stone marker was refurbished and a bust of the national hero was added during the celebration of the Philippine Centennial in 1998.