Japanese Foreign Minister, Top PH Officials Join Independence Day Reception in Tokyo


TOKYO 06 July 2018 – Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose C. Laurel V hosted a reception for some 400 guests to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence at the Fuji Room, Imperial Hotel in Tokyo.

The reception was graced by the presence of esteemed guests from Japan headed by the Foreign Minister Taro Kono, former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, and Japan-Philippines Parliamentarians’ Friendship League (JPPFL) Chairman Nobuteru Ishihara.

From the Philippine side, the reception was attended by the Philippine Delegation to the Fifth High-Level Joint Committee Meeting on Infrastructure Development and Economic Cooperation headed by the Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar, Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin M. Andanar, and Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea.

Ambassador Laurel, in his remarks, said, “As the Secretary of Foreign Affairs Hon. Alan Peter S. Cayetano said, ‘The global dimension of our nationhood is as important a pillar of our efforts to achieve our aspirations.’ The past eight days of high-level engagement with Japan attests to the peerless relationship we enjoy with one of our most prominent global partners: we held the ASEAN-Japan Forum a week ago; bilaterally, we have just completed a series of high-level meetings on economic cooperation, with the participation of no less than the Philippines’ Executive Secretary and several cabinet ministers; and another high-level delegation earlier reviewed and reinvigorated bilateral strategic dialogue. The steadiness, quality, expanse and depth of our relationship with Japan are true models of heart-to-heart engagement.”

After the Ambassador’s opening remarks, he introduced guest of honor Foreign Minister Kono who, for his part, expressed how proud he is that Philippine-Japan relations is very strong and is in fact entering the “Golden Age of Strategic Partnership.”

In a very personal note, Kono shared that his first trip abroad as Japan’s Foreign Minister was his visit to the Philippines in 2017.

Furthermore, on the day of reception in celebration of Philippine independence, the Foreign Minister declared that, “I started my day with the Philippine Foreign Secretary… I am ending my day with you all. I call this day my Philippine day.”

Finally, Foreign Minister Kono also showed his bamboo watch, a present which he received during the ASEAN 50th anniversary celebration in Manila. He congratulated the Philippines for its excellent hosting and chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017.

The Foreign Minister ended his remarks with “Friendship with the ASEAN countries is indispensible for the prosperity of Japan.”

The celebration continued with musical performances from Filipino singer, songwriter and actor Ogie Alcasid, and The Voice Philippines finalist Monique Lualhati. END


Ogie Alcasid and Monique Lualhati serenade at the Philippine Independence Day celebration. (JC Studios Japan photo)

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