By Zea Capistrano
DAVAO CITY – The Consulate-General of Japan in Davao hosted Tuesday night a grand reception to celebrate the birthday of Japanese Emperor Naruhito.
Local officials and businessmen gathered at the Marco Polo Hotel here for the special occasion which Consulate General Miwa Yoshiaki described as “extraordinary for two reasons.”
“Primarily, this is the first National Day reception under the new Reiwa era, and secondly, it is also the first to be hosted by our office after it was upgraded to a full-fledged Consulate General of Japan in Davao last year,” Miwa said.
On May 1, Emperor Naruhito, son of His Majesty Emperor Akihito, ascended to the throne as the successor, welcoming the new Reiwa era. Reiwa means “Beautiful Harmony”.
Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony last October 22 in Tokyo was attended by President Rodrigo Duterte, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and Federation of Nikkei Jin Kai Philippines President Ines Yamanouchi Mallari.
The Consulate General also said that the 100 years anniversary of Davao Japanese community last year was the highlight of their activities last year.
Miwa said “Japan remains committed in its role as a longstanding partner of ASEAN in all of its facets of development.”
“In the context of Davao-Japan cooperation, Japan has never wavered in our commitment to support President Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” Program,” he added.
He said they are optimistic of the Davao City Bypass Road Project which will be jumpstarted this year.
He also announced the recent re-opening of the Philippine-Japan Historical Museum in Calinan District here.
“The effort was supported through the Grant Assistance for Cultural Grassroots Projects of the Japanese government. We hope that more Filipino and Japanese people will visit the Museum to learn about our shared history,” he said.
Meanwhile, Davao City Councilor Antoinette Principe-Castrodes thanked Emperor Naruhito for his “invaluable efforts and strong determination” to sustain Japan’s relationship with the Philippines.
“Davao City has a long and storied connection with Japan. This relationship is evident through our rich Japanese heritage, in the cultural landmarks and in the assistance programs given to us by Japanese organizations, which we are genuinely thankful for,” she said.
“This beautiful harmony has led to numerous promising engagements both in our homeland and yours,” she added.
Representatives of Japanese companies’ including Chodai Company of Manila, Salefull Trading Incorporated of Subic, Sustena Incorporated of Manila and Canon Marketing Philippines also attended the event.