By Roy Mabasa
The Japanese government has announced the conferment of The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays on Ma. Elena Laurel Loinaz, in recognition of her contribution to promoting mutual understanding and closer ties between Japan and the Philippines.
Loinaz, who served as president of the Philippines-Japan Ladies Association (PJLA) for 13 years, undertook various educational and socio-cultural programs to encourage exchanges between Filipinos and the Japanese throughout her stewardship of the group.
According to a statement from the Japanese Embassy in Manila, Loinaz was bestowed with the honor for making the activities of the association more open, while invigorating and expanding the participation of PJLA members and non-members.
Loinaz was also cited for the vital role she played as the administrator of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation where she worked to support its affiliate organizations such as the Philippines-Japan Society, the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee, the Philippine Institute of Japanese Language and Culture, the Nihongo Center Foundation，and the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni.
“The Embassy of Japan extends its sincere congratulations to Ms. Laurel Loinaz and her family on this conferment, and hopes that she will continue to play an active role in further strengthening close relations between our two countries,” the Japanese Embassy said.
Loinaz is a member of the Council of Advisers of the PJLA.
Founded on May 1975, the PJLA’s primary mission is to enhance the role of women in the development of friendly relations between the Philippines and Japan and other nations based on the principles of “equality, mutual respect, and better understanding.
The PJLA also undertakes activities concerning education and socio-cultural programs and encourages the exchange of information in all fields of human endeavors between Manila and Tokyo.