THE PHILIPPINES-JAPAN SOCIETY, INC.
by unanimous resolution of its Board of Directors
hereby confers upon
The Honorable JOSE B. LAUREL, JR.
the Medal for Outstanding Achievement in
the Promotion of Philippines-Japan Relations
in recognition of his life-long commitment to his cause
as manifested in his actuations both as a private individual and,
especially, as a public official in the Republic of the Philippines.
Well-prepared academically for the tasks he was later to discharge with remarkable success, he holds the degrees of Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Laws (Meritissimus) and Doctor of Civil Law (Meritissimus) from the University of Sto. Tomas, and Doctor en Derecho from the Universidad Central de Madrid.
In the practice and teaching of law, where he engaged actively during his youth, he received his initial tutelage from his own father, the illustrious Dr. Jose P. Laurel, President of the Second Philippine Republic and eminent stateman, jurist and educator.
It was also from his father that he learned his first lessons in the field of politics, where he was also to distinguish himself. Elected at the age of 28 to the National Assembly during the Commonwealth period, he served in the Legislature for a total of seven terms and three time as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
He quickly won prominence as a legislator for his determined efforts to foster, among other worthy causes, the spirit of nationalism among the Filipino people. He was the principal proponent of many significant measures toward this end, among them the Nationalization of the retail trade, the re-examination of Philippine-American relations, and the adoption of the Magna Carta of Social Justice and Economic Freedom by unanimous vote of the Congress of the Philippines.
His intense nationalism has nevertheless always been coupled with his recognition of the need for peace and amity among nations. Accordingly, he has energetically espoused the cultivation of friendship between the Philippines and other states, consistently with the protection of the national interest as the indispensable condition.
His most outstanding achievement in this respect is the conclusion of the Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation between the Philippines and Japan in 1961. He was the Chairman of the Philippine Panel that negotiated it with its Japanese counterpart. Despite the suspicious and hostilities engendered in the two countries by the last World War, their representatives succeeded in adopting an agreement that has vastly improved Philippines-Japan relations.
It was also in the interest of international accord that he vigorously supported the movement for the creation of the Asian Parliamentarians’ Union, of which he became the President in 1959. Japan being its prime mover and principal sponsor, his involvement in this organization gave him the opportunity to cooperate more closely with the Japanese Diet, on behalf of the Congress of the Philippines, in improving relations between the Philippines and Japan.
Even now, as a private individual, he continues his advocacy of friendship between the Philippines and Japan as an instrument for their mutual benefit and the furtherance of international harmony.
Although retired from public life, he remains active in civic and political affairs. Many still look up to him for his accustomed leadership. He is now regarded with deep respect as an elder statesman who has courageously held fast to his convictions even if a more compromising stance could have earned him a measure of comfort and personal security during this period of anxiety in the country.
The Philippines-Japan Society is not only proud that he is deservedly one of its Honorary Members but also grateful for his signal and laudable services in the pursuit of its principal objective of promoting better relations between the Philippines and Japan. It is in token of these sentiments that this medal is now wholeheartedly presented to the Honorable J.B. Laurel, Jr. – whose love for the Philippines is his bond to Japan – a most worthy recipient, indeed, of the highest award and appreciation of the Society.
DONE in Makati, Metro Manila, this 24th day Of January 1981 and the eighth year of the Philippines-Japan Society.
JOSE S. LAUREL III
Chairman of the Board
BENJAMIN F. SANVICTORES VICTOR A. LIM
Executive Director Executive Director