THE PHILIPPINES-JAPAN SOCIETY
By unanimous resolution of its Board of Directors
Proudly confers upon
MEDAL OF MERIT
for Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion
Born on February 2, 1930, TSUNEO TANAKA studied at Tokyo University and Williams College, USA where he graduated with a Degree in Law. In 1994, he was awarded with an Honorary Degree in law on the occasion of the 210th Anniversary of founding of the college. He entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1952 and rendered services in Washington, D.C., London, Copenhagen, Bangkok, among others. From 1978 to 1987, he was appointed as the Minister at the Embassy of Japan in Thailand, Consul General in Los Angeles, Director General of the Immigration Bureau of the Ministry of Justice, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Greece and later to Mexico.
As a young official working in Tokyo in-charge of trade or economic cooperation, he occasionally dealt with the affairs in the Philippines. However, his intimate relation with the Philippine began on 1988 in his capacity as the Japanese Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of the Philippines where he worked for three years.
It was during his tenure in 1989 when he instituted MAI (Multilateral Aid Initiative), a multi-national scheme for economic cooperation in the Philippines with the basic idea of pushing forward pro-poor projects. During the severe earthquake that hit Northern Luzon in July 1991, the Embassy of Japan was among the first parties to render service and assistance to the victims. At a farewell dinner at the Malacañang Palace, President Aquino bestowed upon him the Order of Sikatuna, Rank of Datu.
After retiring from the foreign service 1993, he became the President of the Philippine Society of Japan where he continued to promote friendship between the two nations. In 2000 he was concurrently appointed as Adviser of the Global Voluntary Service an NGO organization. In 2002, he retired as President of the Philippine Society of Japan and became Senior Adviser to the Society.
Ambassador Tanaka has made significant contributions in the promotion of Philippines-Japan relations not only during his official term as ambassador of Japan to the Philippines but even after he retired, he found time and resources to assist many unfortunate Filipinos through his non-governmental activities (NGO). For the past 12 years and as a volunteer, he carried-out vocational training projects for 31 underprivileged villages in the provinces of Batangas, Quezon, Pampanga, Bulacan, Laguna, Iloilo and Negros.
Ambassador Tanaka has always believed in the dignity of man. Under this principle, he has undertaken projects where Filipinos learn livelihood programs and not just receiving handouts. He has taught Filipinos to help themselves.
Given this 25th day of February in the year of our Lord Two Thousand Five in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines on the occasion of the 27th Philippines-Japan friendship Celebration, and the 33rd year of the Philippines-Japan Society.
FRANCIS C. LAUREL
BENJAMIN C. LAUREL