During the state banquet hosted by the Imperial House of Japan for President Aquino, June 3, His Majesty the Emperor Akihito expressed profound sense of remorse and deepest condolences for those who suffered in the time of World War II.
“During World War II, however, fierce battles between Japan and the United States took place on Philippine soil, resulting in the loss of many Filipino lives,” Emperor Akihito said as provided by Japan’s Imperial Household Agency.
“This is something we Japanese must long remember with a profound sense of remorse. In particular, in this year of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, I offer my deepest condolences to all those who lost their lives then,” the Japanese Emperor added.
He also noted how the Philippines helped Japan in the recent years. “Your Excellency [President Aquino] visited the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which sustained enormous damage in the Great East Japan Earthquake, and presented the city with a donation towards its reconstruction.
“We have also received various other forms of support from the Philippines, including emergency supplies and the deployment of medical teams.
“In June 2014, Your Excellency visited the city of Hiroshima, where you offered flowers at the Cenotaph for Atomic Bomb Victims in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Your Excellency for your warm thoughts for Japan,” the Emperor said.
Emperor Akihito visited the Philippines fifty-three years ago when he was still the Crown Prince. “It was on that visit that we visited General Emilio Aguinaldo and Mrs. Aguinaldo in Cavite, where we stood with them on the balcony from which Philippine independence was declared in 1898, following the victory in the war for independence from Spain. This was a deeply moving experience for us,” he narrates.