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Arroyo, Haneda lead celebration of ascension of Emperor Naruhito to Chrysanthemum Throne

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By Ben Rosario

Former president and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda led officials of the country in celebrating on Tuesday the ascension of Emperor Naruhito to the Chrysanthemum Throne.

Former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo joins Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines His Excellency Koji Haneda on Tuesday to celebrate the ascension of Emperor Naruhito to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Alongside Speaker Arroyo were former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo and H.E. Haneda's wife, Iheka Haneda. (PHOTO COURTESY OF    PERFECTO CAMERO /  CONGRESS / MANILA BULLETIN)

Former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo joins Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines His Excellency Koji Haneda on Tuesday to celebrate the ascension of Emperor Naruhito to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Alongside Speaker Arroyo were former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo and H.E. Haneda’s wife, Iheka Haneda. (PHOTO COURTESY OF PERFECTO CAMERO / CONGRESS / MANILA BULLETIN)

The 59-year-old emperor took over his father, Emperor Akihito, on May 1. He became the 126th monarch of Japan.

Joining the momentous event for the Philippine-Japan relations were former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo and the ambassador’s wife, Ineka Haneda.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin spoke at the celebration that was also attended by former Prime Minister Cesar Virata and dignitaries from Japan and the Philippines.

Locsin, former congressman of Makati City, said the Philippines joins Japan in looking forward to the Reiwa era under the new emperor, saying that Filipino leaders are optimistic that peace and prosperity for Japan will continue.

“We share the Japanese people’s hope that the Reiwa Era heralds a time of harmony for Japan and our region as we ride the wave of unbridled opportunity from gain and loss,” Locsin said.

Locsin aired the optimism that the new era will see strengthened bilateral relations between Japan and the Philippines.

He assured Japanese leaders that Philippines will continue to remain a true ally of their country.

“On the bilateral front, we are confident that the Reiwa Era will impart a stronger impetus to our strategic partnership. Japan has an important place in our pantheon of real friends. It is, in the words of His Excellency President Rodrigo Duterte, ‘a friend closer than a brother,'” he said.

Haneda said that the robust diplomatic ties of the Philippines and Japan is at its golden age.

“Across the 30 years of the Heisei Era of His Majesty Emperor Emeritus Akihito, the relations between Japan and the Philippines were immensely strengthened. We are now here enjoying the golden age of our strategic partnership,” he said.

The Japanese envoy aired the confidence that harmonious friendship of the Philippines and Japan will continue as Japan enters its Reiwa Era.

The two countries are already collaborating on new initiatives on labor and deepening people to people relations, and have other cooperation projects in the pipeline.

“In the new era of labor, we will engage in our best efforts to further promote stronger ties with the people of the Philippines. We are already witnessing positive developments both at grassroots and high level. Opening of the Consulate General of Japan in Davao this year is expected to enhance people to people exchange between Mindanao and Japan,” H.E. Haneda said.

“From here on and down to many future generations, I am convinced that beautiful harmony-the essence of the name ‘Reiwa’-will flourish in both our countries as we work together with one goal,” he said.

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