Speech of Japan Ambassador Toshinao Urabe at the Araw ng Kagitingan celebration, April 9, 2014

Magandang umaga po sa inyong lahat. Ikinagagalak kong makasama kayong lahat sa mahalagang okasyong ito.

I am deeply honored to be with you on this day. 72 years have passed, still it hurts to remember the hardship and pain suffered by so many during those fateful days. I wish to express our heartfelt apologies and deep sense of remorse for such inexplicable suffering.

Japan has learned valuable lessons from history. The use of force does not give ultimate solutions. It only creates problems. That is why we have vowed never to wage war again. Actions speak louder than words. Our deeds in the past seven decades validate our resolve.

Fortunately, the Filipinos have accepted to move on. We have been building the future together ever since. Thanks to the efforts of our predecessors, we are now strategic partners, sharing common values.

The exchange of visits and contacts between our leaders continue on a regular basis. Our soldiers were working shoulder-to-shoulder in the UN peacekeeping operations in the Golan Heights prior to the Syrian crisis.

Soon after, Japanese soldiers were back in Leyte for the ‘Operation Sangkay’ providing disaster relief. Currently, they are helping in the search of the missing Malaysian airlines plane. As was graciously recognized by His Excellency President Aquino during the signing ceremony of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro on March 27, Japan played a constructive role in the progress of the Mindanao process. We are proud of and are committed to continue our contribution in peace building in Mindanao.

Japan will continue to contribute proactively to the peace, stability, and prosperity not only for this region, but also for the international community. As quoted by then Finance Minister J.R. Jayawardene of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), who waived his country’s right to seek war compensation from Japan at the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty Conference, “hatred ceases not by hatred but by love”.

Japan is grateful to the Filipinos and Americans for building peace within our hearts. We are happy to work with you for the common good of all. Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.