DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 May) – The “beautiful harmony” in the diplomatic relations between Philippines and Japan will continue to flourish under the reign of Emperor Naruhito, who ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1 to become Japan’s 126th emperor after the abdication of his 85-year-old father, Akihito, according to Japanese Consul General Yoshiaki Miwa.
During the celebration for the Enthronement of His Imperial Highness, the Crown Prince, and the 100th anniversary of the Japanese Community in Davao Thursday evening at the Marco Polo Davao, Miwa expressed optimism that the Philippine-Japan diplomatic relationship would be further strengthened under the new Reiwa era.
The new era’s name, which means “beautiful harmony,” is derived from a Japanese text, Manyoshu, an anthology of Japanese poems dating back 1,200 years symbolizing the nation’s “profound public culture and long tradition,” Miwa said.
“I would like to express my gratitude to all of you for your support and cooperation for the past era. Moreover, I am confident that the beautiful harmony, which is the essence of Reiwa, will continue to flourish in both our countries as we work together and further advance the Philippine-Japan strategic partnership,” he said.
Miwa added that the Davao City-Japan relationship began when a group of Japanese immigrants arrived here in 1903 and had engaged in the production of abaca, attracting more Japanese migrants here.
He said the Davao Japanese Association was organized in 1918 and two years later, a consular office of Japan was established to look after the welfare of the Japanese settlers.
“At its peak, the Japanese community then reached 20,000 and Davao came to be known as the ‘Little Tokyo’,” he said.
Miwa said a weeklong grand centennial celebration of the Davao Japanese community is being planned for October with various activities, including booth and food exhibits, Japanese film festival, cultural presentations featuring artists and performers from Japan.
A business-to-business conference will also be organized to further enhance the two nations’ commercial network, according to Miwa. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)