Japan has pledged never to repeat the tragedy of war and instead sustain cooperation with the Philippines in various areas from fighting the coronavirus pandemic to promoting peace and stability in the South China Sea.
The latest commitment to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two nations was relayed by Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko during the commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) Friday, April 9.
The annual Day of Valor pays tribute to the bravery and sacrifices of Filipinos who fought alongside American allies against the Japanese occupation during World War II.
The envoy offered Japan’s “deepest respect and heartfelt condolences to everyone who suffered and died” during the war in Friday’s commemorative rites.
“Since the war ended, Japan has devoted itself to being a peace-loving nation. It is our vow not to turn our back on this time-honored pledge. Echoing what our Prime Ministers have consistently conveyed, Japan will never again repeat the devastation of war,” the Japanese ambassador in a taped message.
“Mindful of the lesson of the past, Japan has focused its effort on building up on friendship and cooperation that have led us to what we have now — a solid partnership between Japan and the Philippines,” he added.
The ambassador also highlighted the “immense progress” in the cooperative ties between the Philippines and Japan. He noted that no less than President Duterte mentioned the Philippine-Japan relations have reached the “golden age of our strategic partnership.”
The two countries mark the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties as well as 10th anniversary of strategic partnership this year.
“Taking stock of immense progress we have made in broad area of cooperation on various issues such as infrastructure development, disaster risk reduction, medical and health sector, agriculture, the Mindanao peace process, and maritime security, particularly for the peace and stability in the South China Sea, we can confidently say that our bilateral relations have never been better,” the Japanese envoy said.
Japan has also affirmed its resolve to work with the Philippines in promoting a free, open, and peaceful Indo-Pacific region.
“As nations adhering to the fundamental values of democracy and rule of law, Japan and the Philippines together will like-minded nations such as the United States are working closely today to promote peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. We are determined to help in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region for future generations,” the ambassador said.
Japan likewise committed to continue to cooperate with the Philippines in the battle against the pandemic.
According to the ambassador, Japan has so far provided support to augment the Philippines’ health care capacity by extending grant assistance for medical equipment and laboratories across the country. In addition, Japan has provided loans to boost the Philippines government’s funds in fighting the outbreak.
“We will continue to cooperate and work in solidarity with the Philippines until we overcome this pandemic,” the ambassador said.
“Decades ago, our relations are challenged by tragic war. Now we have become special friends who are closer than brothers. As we commemorate the bravery of soldiers, rest assured Japan will relentlessly do its part for this friendship to flourish and endure,” he added.