Chairman for The Philippine Japan Society
THE PHILIPPINES-JAPAN SOCIETY
By unanimous resolution of its Board of Directors
Proudly confers upon
THE PHILIPPINES SOCIETY OF JAPAN
MEDAL OF MERIT
For Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion
In August 1935, the House of Peers of Japan dispatched an official mission to the Philippines to promote bilateral ties. The mission was led by Marquis Yorisada Tokugawa. A direct result of the mission was the establishment of the Philippine Society of Japan, espousing the mission’s original and primary purpose- to promote friendship and mutual understanding between the Japanese and the Filipino people.
Since its establishment 67 years ago, the Philippine Society of Japan has spearheaded various activities promoting bilateral Philippines-Japan relations. Even before the outbreak of the Pacific War, the Society was already engaged in publication of monthly reports covering Philippine political, economic and cultural subjects for distribution among its members – all prominent personalities in government, business and the academe. By 1938, the Society started supporting Student Exchange Programs and sponsoring seminars, conferences, visits and tours to the Philippines. In these activities, it was common for the Society to involve incumbent or former Japanese Ambassadors to the Philippines, members of the academe and other organizations involved in the Philippine Affairs.
During the Pacific War (1943-1945), the Society assisted in providing accommodations and other conveniences for Filipino students studying in Japan, otherwise known as the “Nampo Tokubetsu Ryugakusei.” They were among the first group of South East Asian Students sponsored by the government of Japan.
After the war, the Society reorganized again under the visionary leadership of Marquis Tokugawa. It continues its civic activities directed at encouraging Japanese interest in Philippine affairs.
Although, the Philippine side had long wanted to reciprocate this gesture of friendship from representatives of the Japanese people, but because of unforeseen events and prevailing circumstances, it took 37 years before its Philippine counterpart, The Philippines-Japan Society, could be formally inaugurated on January 17, 1972 at which former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi was the guest of honor.
Thus was forged a close partnership of the two organizations, bound by a common passion for promoting and ensuring mutual understanding and friendship; a partnership that continues to this very day.
Among the current projects of the Philippines Society of Japan is the funding of Philippine volunteer groups working with under-privileged Filipinos in the rural areas. Funds are raised from private donors through a Japanese volunteer group called Global Voluntary Service, as well as from subsidies extended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Extension work resulting from the Society’s efforts includes the dispatch of volunteer teachers and medical doctors to the needy rural communities in the Philippines. To date, such projects have been carried out in 25 villages.
The Philippine Society of Japan has been blessed to be led by prominent and distinguished Japanese who have held the key positions in government and in well- known private companies. The following have served as Chairman of the Society:
Marquis Yorisada Tokugawa 1935
Member, House of Peers
Viscount Nagakage Okabe 1943
Minister of Education
Marquis Yorisada Tokugawa 1947
Ambassador Shozo Murata 1954
President, Osaka Shosen Kaisha, Ltd.
Former Ambassador to the Philippines
Tatsunosuke Takasaki 1957
Minister of Trade and Industry
Takeo Ito 1958
President, Furukawa Takushoku Co., Ltd.
Mamoru Nagano 1961
Minister of Transportation
Member, House of Councilors
Nobusuke Kishi 1970
Takeo Fukuda 1984
Tasuku Takagaki 1998
Chairman, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Ltd.
The current Chairman of the Philippines Society of Japan, Mr. Tasuku Takagi, is as prominent as his illustrious predecessors. Mr. Takagi was actively engaged in many financial transactions of the Philippines with Japan, especially in the area of sovereign or quasi-sovereign funds arranged when he was serving as the Deputy Treasurer of the Asian Development Bank from 1966 to 1971.
Thereafter, Mr. Takagaki continued his involvement in the Philippine financial transactions when he became President of the Bank of Tokyo until its merger with the Mitsubishi Bank Limited in 1996. In recognition of his stature and prominence in international finance, he was elected Chairman of the merged Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Ltd., in 2000. Despite his hectic schedule, Mr. Takagaki continued to espouse harmonious and friendly Philippines-Japan relations in his active leadership of the Philippine Society of Japan, particularly in its joint activities with the Philippines-Japan Society and its affiliate friendship organizations, such as the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee, Inc. (PHILJEC).
In deep appreciation therefore of the invaluable dedication of the Philippine Society of Japan to the enhancement of friendships and the promotion of understanding among the Japanese and the Filipinos – thereby serving as an example and inspiration to the Philippine-Japan Society in its own work and mission – and in gratitude for the dedicated service and unflinching commitment of its officers and members, to our common mission of close bilateral relations, the Philippines-Japan Society hereby confers upon the Philippine Society of Japan, the 24th Philippines-Japan Society Medal of Merit, The highest award within its gift to convey.
Given, this 28th day of February in the Year of our Lord Two Thousand Two in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines on the occasion of the 24th Philippines-Japan Friendship Celebration, and the 30th year of the Philippines-Japan Society.
JOSE S. LAUREL III BENJAMIN F. SANVICTORES
President Emeritus President
BENJAMIN C. LAUREL