70th Anniversary of the Quirino Grant of Clemency to Japanese War Criminals

On July 13, 2023 at the Museo of Muntinlupa in Muntinlupa City, the 70th Anniversary of the Quirino Grant of Clemency to Japanese Prisoners of war (POWs) was commemorated.

 It was titled “Peace for the Future” highlighting the historic grant of Pardon to Japanese POWs in 1953 by then President Elpidio Quirino.  This occasion was graced by prominent individuals both from government and private sectors, with no less than Ms. Kayoko Kano of Kano Art Promotion Foundation, daughter of Mr. Kanrai Kano, himself was a Japanese prisoner who tirelessly appealed to President Quirino (sending a total of 43 letters from 1949 until 1953) for the grant of clemency to all Japanese Prisoners.  On the other hand, Atty. Aleli Angela Quirino, Ms. Cory Quirino and some members of the Quirino family represented the President Quirino Foundation.

In his speech at the ceremony, Ambassador KOSHIKAWA Kazuhiko, the Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines, stated that President Quirino was among the many remarkable Filipinos who chose the path of peace and forgiveness over resentment and retaliation, despite experiencing tragic loss and heavy criticism from his fellowmen.

To quote from President Quirino’s Statement of Pardon of All Japanese War Criminals dated July 6, 1953, he said… “I have extended executive clemency to Japanese war prisoners serving terms in the Philippines not as an Amnesty which requires concurrence of the Philippine Congress.  As my wife, three (3) of my children and five (5) other members of my family were murdered by the Japanese, I never imagined that I would forgive them.  I am doing this because I DO NOT want my children and my people to inherit from me HATE towards people who may yet be our friends for the permanent interest of our country.  After all, DESTINY has made us neighbors.”

Mr. Francis C. Laurel, President of the Philippines-Japan Society, Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, President of the Nihongo Center Foundation and Ms. Glenda T. Ferma, Administrator of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation attended the event.


Mr. FUKUDA Shigeo – son of former Prime Minister FUKUDA Yasuo – paid a courtesy call on Mr. Francis C. Laurel, President of the Philippines Japan Society (PJS) last July 13, 2023.  Mr. Fukuda was accompanied by Mr. TAKANO Seji, President of the Japanese Association Manila, Inc. (JAMI), and President of Sumitomo Corporation of the Philippines (SCP). Also, on hand to receive the guests were Mr. Ricky Osmond, Chairman of The Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJEC), Mr. Gerry B. Sanvictores (PJS Vice-President), and Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, President of the Nihongo Center Foundation. 

Messrs. Fukuda and Takano were received at the Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III Room where the memorabilia of the late Ambassador and Founder of the Philippines-Japan Society and its affiliate organizations are housed.  Photos of Prime Ministers FUKUDA Takeo and FUKUDA Yasuo – Mr. Fukuda Shigeo’s grandfather and father, respectively – are among framed pictures prominently displayed in the Laurel Room.  

During the call, Mr. Laurel presented Mr. Fukuda with a copy of the book – Jose S. Laurel III, Filipino Samurai. Interestingly, Mr. Fukuda brought with him a copy of the same book which was earlier given to his father – PM Fukuda Yasuo – with a request for a dedication from Mr. Laurel.  Of course, Mr. Laurel obliged and wrote dedications on both books for the personal collection of father and son.

Mr. Fukuda was previously stationed in SCP and lived in the Philippines for several years and is quite familiar with the country.  Currently, he oversees the industrial estates development business of Sumitomo Corporation. 


All announcements and notices regarding JLPT in Manila Test Site will be posted on these links:
PJFF Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/PJFF.PH 
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/pjff.ph/
JLPT Manila Test Site Viber Community – https://bit.ly/3W413jF

PHILJEC Chairman Attends the 12th Asia Business Summit in South Korea

The 2023 Asia Business Summit, co-hosted by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) and the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), brought together leaders of 11 business organizations from China, Taiwan, India, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

SPPI President & Chief Executive Officer and Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee Chairman Richard Albert Osmond represented the Philippines in the business summit.

Launched in 2010 upon Keidanren’s initiative, the Asian Business Summit serves to promote regional economic integration among Asian nations. This year’s session marks the first time in six years the event has taken place in South Korea. More details from Arirang News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adqxuBmOjAM

July 2023 JLPT Successfully Ended

The first Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) for 2023 was held successfully last July 2 at the De La Salle University – Manila Campus. 3,457 out of 4,125 examinees took the test, which was a 15% increase on the turnout number of examinees compared to the December 2022 JLPT. Almost all examinees were able to complete the test, thanks to the dedication and hard work of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation (PJFF) staff, as well as the cooperation of the Proctors and Secretariat members, and support from our partner, the De La Salle University – Manila Campus (DLSU). 

In order to prepare for the test, all proctors were requested to attend the Proctors’ Orientation on Saturday, July 1. The orientation started with a welcome speech from the administrator of PJFF, Ms. Glenda Ferma. She gave a motivating speech to all the proctors, highlighted as follows: 

“This July 2, 2023 JLPT in Manila is HISTORY in the making.  WHY?  For the very first time since the JLPT was administered in the Philippines more than 30 years ago, the test will be administered by an All-Filipino TEAM. For the first time, no Japanese staff from the Japan Foundation Manila will assist in the management of the Test, from the preparation and sorting of test papers by level, to the assigning of classrooms and selection of proctors, and all the minutest details of conducting the Test tomorrow, the day of the exam.  This is another test of fire for all of us – Filipinos!”

The above imparted that we, as an all Filipino team, must do our part in ensuring that we serve our fellow Filipinos as well as to continue to promote friendly ties between the Philippines and Japan.

Emboldened and motivated, during the orientation, the proctors were very attentive. Many were seen taking notes. Others were asking thoughtful questions. All of them were actively participating and listening to the orientation. Whether the proctor was new or experienced, they did not hesitate to ask questions. Their efforts in understanding the JLPT procedures has contributed greatly in helping PJFF conduct the test successfully.

Apart from that, the DLSU also prepared a safety orientation in case an emergency arises on the test day itself. Given that the Philippines is vulnerable to natural disasters, the DLSU administrators also raised the need to be prepared for any situation. After the orientation, the proctors were given their room assignments and paired with their assistants to prepare their room for the test day. That marked the end of the orientation day. 

On July 2, the actual test date, examinees were seen lining up the gates of DLSU as early as 8:00 a.m. Proctors and secretariat members were seen running around and making sure that their assigned rooms and materials were prepared. There was some tension. However, more than that, there was also that sense of determination coming from everyone to make sure that this JLPT would be a successful one. 

During the test, the administrative team kept track of everything and responded to all concerns. The proctors and secretariats were proactive and ensured that their assigned duties were carried out. DLSU was very attentive as well regarding the safety and security of everyone involved. The team was even concerned as to the temperature throughout the day and allowed the examinees to enter their assigned rooms early. Through everyone’s effort, the JLPT started and ended with no major concerns. The PJFF would like to thank all the proctors, secretariats, and DLSU staff for making this JLPT a successful one.

For many examinees, the JLPT is not just a simple proficiency test. It can be a big step for reaching their dreams. As such, the Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation is committed to providing quality service for everyone who will take the JLPT in Manila Test Site. We will continuously strive to deliver the best of our services in the years to come.

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