Consulate General of Japan inaugural reception

What: Cocktail reception to formally open the Consulate General of Japan in Davao
Where: The Grand Ballroom of Waterfront Insular Hotel
Who came: Japanese & Philippine government officials, Mindanao’s diplomatic corps, corporate and media guests

The reception to formally open the Consulate General of Japan was a high-profile affair with government VIPs from Japan and the Philippines in attendance.


A toast after Kagamibiraki, the sake barrel breaking ceremony. Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda; Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III; Japanese Consul General Yoshiaki Miwa; Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose Laurel V; Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea; Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono; DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr.; Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte; MILF Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim; Natl. Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon; and Peace Process Adviser Carlito Galvez


MinDA Secretary Datu Abdul Khayr Alonto; DFA Sec. Teodoro Locsin, Jr.; Australian Ambassador-Designate Steven Robinson; Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono; Thai Deputy Chief of Mission Urawadee Sriphiromya; Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte; & Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda


In his speech, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono shared that when the Japanese migrated to Davao around 1903, it had the largest Japanese community in Asia with a population of 20,000. A consular office was opened in 1920 with Michael Shibasaki as the first chief officer.


Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono


Coincidentally, the newly-opened Consulate General’s first chief officer, Yoshiaki Miwa, is related to the Shibasaki by affinity. He is Miwa’s father-in-law’s uncle. “Is must be fate, or karma,” the foreign minister said in jest.

“Our friendship is precious and that is why Japan will always stand by the Philippines and Mindanao. Japan has been consistently supporting sustainable economic development of the Philippines and Mindanao’s peace process,” Kono said, also expressing his highest hopes that the evening’s reception will provide opportunities to further develop the friendship and that the newly-opened Consulate General of Japan will serve the people of Mindanao for many years to come.

DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. said, “The opening of the Consulate General speaks of the importance Japan attaches not only to the city of Davao as a growing center of economic activity, but to the entire Land of Promise that is Mindanao. Japan’s record of unfailing support for Mindanao spanning the peace process, development assistance, investments and cultural engagement has been unrivaled.”


DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.


Mayor Sara Duterte congratulated the local Japanese community that consular office of Japan in Davao is now recognized as a full-fledged Consulate General.


Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte


“The establishment of the Consulate General of Japan in Davao will further broaden the horizons of our partnership,” she said, “We thank you for the confidence you placed in us. The confidence that our bilateral relations will, in one way or another, contribute in accelerating the economic development of both our countries.”

The personal trivia shared that evening gave the affair a relaxing air. The crowd loved the confessions of Foreign Minister Kono and Mayor Duterte. The Japanese loves durian while the Mayor of the Land of Durian doesn’t eat durian.


Betty Medialdea, Exec. Sec. Salvador Medialdea, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono & Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda

Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Sammy Uy

Consular Corps of the Philippines Mindanao. Consul Joji Ilagan-Bian (Bangladesh); Consul Edgar Ang (Korea); Consul Mary Ann Montemayor (Hungary); DFA Sec. Teodoro Locsin III; Consul General Yoshiaki Miwa (Japan) ; Consul Malou Monteverde (Mexico); Consul General Endah Yuliarti Farry (Indonesia); Consul Rowena Vida-Lisbona (Denmark): Consul General Li Lin (China); Peter Faistauer (Austria); and Klaus Doring (Germany)

DFA officials. Exec. Dir. Jocel Ignacio; ASec. Meynard Montealegre and Acting ASec. Robert Ferrer, Jr.

Judge Antonina Oshita-Escovilla, awardee of the Order of the Rising Sun Gold Rays with Rosette

Japanese Consul General Yoshiaki Miwa with Judge Antonina Oshita-Escovilla and her family.

Bangladesh Ambassador Asad Alam Siam & Honorary Consul to Bangladesh in Davao Joji Ilagan-Bian

Wanda Teo, Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda & Consulate General Yoshiaki Miwa

DCCCII President Art Millan, City Administrator Zuleika Lopez & Qui Aiping


DOT-XI Regional Director Tanya Tan; Angie Angliongto; & Bebot Marfori-Dizon

Indonesian Consulate General officials lead by ConGen Endah Yuliarti Farry


Japanese martial artist Junna Tsukii & Japan Foundation Manila Director Uesugi Hiroaki

Francis Ledesma, PDIC BOD Anita Linda Aquino & Josef Ledesma

General Managers. Dusit D2’s Christopher Wichlan, Seda Abreeza’s Ken Kapulong & Waterfront Insular’s Bryan Yves Lasalas

Danna Faistauer; Gene Bangayan; Malou Monteverde; Eetang Ang; Mary Anne Montemayor; Endah Yuliarti Farry; Joji Ilagan-Bian; Li Lin; and Marilou Ampuan

And that must-do selfie… that made the dignitaries smile (photo: Rene Arias)


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Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper