THE PHILIPPINES-JAPAN SOCIETY, INC.
by unanimous resolution of its Board of Directors
proudly confers upon
The Honorable NOBURO TAKESHITA
MEDAL OF MERIT
for outstanding Achievement in the
Promotion of Philippines Relations
Born on February 26, 1924 to a sake brewing family in a tranquil village in Shimane Prefecture, Western Japan, Noburo Takeshita early in life looked to a political career inspired by his father who was a member of the Shimane Prefectural assembly and his mother who imbibed his young mind with progressive ideas and principles. As a youth, he engaged in quintessentially Japanese sports as sumo and judo, holding fifth dan in the latter.
Mr. Takeshita was accepted into the Waseda University before the Pacific War. His studies however were interrupted when he was conscripted as a trainee pilot during the war. He resumed his studies after the war and graduated in 1947 from the School of Commerce of Waseda University.
Upon graduation, he returned to his hometown as a secondary school teacher, devoting much of his spare hours in the Youth Movement. Soon, he rose in prominence a leader of this group of idealists whose dream and vision was to rebuild their war-ravaged nation.
In 1951, only 27 years old, Mr. Takeshita sought and overwhelmingly won a seat at the Shimane Prefectural Assembly. Having served the Prefectural Assembly for seven years, Mr. Takeshita ran for a seat in the National Diet in 1985 and won his first election. He was only 34 years of age. Since that time, Mr. Takeshita has been representing Shimane-ken, a role which he continues to this day for an unbroken 13 terms (38 years).
In 1964, Minister Takeshita was appointed Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary by Prime Minister Eisaku Sato and in 1971, he was appointed Chief Cabinet Secretary. It was during this time when he distinguished himself in the eventual reversion of Okinawa Japan in 1972. He was reappointed Chief Cabinet Secretary in 1974 by Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, then Construction Minister to the Miki Cabinet and Minster of Finance of the Second Ohira Cabinet. It is in the latter capacity where Mr. Takeshita proved himself outstanding as he became one of Japan’s longest-serving Finance Ministers, commencing in this office for five terms, first appointed in 1979 in the Second Ohira Cabinet continuing as such under Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone from 1982 to 1986. Having served as Finance Minister for such a long period, Minister Takeshita oversaw the growth in Japan’s aid to the Philippines. He also designed and spearheaded the effort to relieve developing countries, including the Philippines of its international debts and obligations to Japan and other lending countries and international institutions.
In 1986, Minister Takeshita was elected Secretary-General of the Liberal Party and on November 6, 1987, Noburo Takeshita was overwhelmingly elected Prime Minister of Japan.
As Prime Minister, Mr. Takeshita visited the Philippines twice, first in 1987 upon his assumption into office when he toured Southeast Asia, and then in 1989 during the ASEAN Summit held in Manila. It was during his term that the Philippines Aid Program (PAP) under the Multilateral support the program which was designed to strengthen the newly-restores democracy of the Philippines and spur economic growth and recovery. To date, the PAP remains an important component of the country’s overall strategy for economic development.
During his state visit to the Philippines in 1989, the 16th Annual OECF Yen Credit Package was successfully negotiated and the annual grant to the Philippine Aid Program was firmed up. Prime Minister Takeshita vigorously endorsed the PAP before the Group of Seven Nations and boosted its establishment by offering Tokyo as the site of the PAP’s Enlarged Consultative Group Meeting. In 1988, Prime Minister Takeshita also endorsed the launching of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month and every February since then, the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines has sponsored multifarious events and activities that promote mutual understanding and friendship through educational and cultural exchanges.
Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita is a friend of the Philippine and of the Filipino people. His unique brand of friendship was especially tested and demonstrated during a most crucial point in our country’s recent history. Filipinos today continue to enjoy the fruits of his bold initiatives in promoting and strengthening Philippines-Japan relations, first as Japan’s Finance Minister from 1979 to 1986 and more importantly as the Prime Minister of Japan from 1987 to 1989. Indeed, Filipinos of future generations will likewise reap the benefits of Prime Minister Takeshita’s wisdom and vision for world peace through intensifies bilateral and multi-sectoral exchange consistent with Japan’s all-important role in the 21st Century.
In grateful appreciation for his initiatives and achievements in furthering Philippines-Japan friendship, the Philippines-Japan Society hereby confers upon the Honorable Noburo Takeshita the highest award within its gift to bestow.
DONE in the City of Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines this 28th day of February 1996, the 25th year of the Society.
JOSE S. LAUREL III BENJAMIN F. SANVICTORES
President Emeritus President
BENJAMIN C. LAUREL