MANILA, Philippines — The Japanese government has awarded former Senate Speaker and Speaker of the House Manny Villar its longest-serving national decoration in recognition of his contributions to strengthening bilateral relations between the Philippines and Japan.
The Japanese government, in a statement issued yesterday by its embassy in Manila, announced that Villar would receive the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
Established in 1875, the National Decoration is awarded to individuals who have made outstanding achievements in various fields, including international relations.
The Japanese government noted that during Villar’s tenure as Senate Speaker, the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement and the Protocol Amending the Convention between Japan and the Republic of the Philippines for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention income tax evasion have been ratified.
As a senator, he also supported the ratification of the Technical Cooperation Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Republic of the Philippines.
“Japan highly appreciates his efforts to support and promote bilateral and economic relations between Japan and the Philippines,” the embassy said.
“The Government of Japan extends its sincere congratulations to the Honorable Manuel Bamba Villar Jr. and commends his active role in strengthening the close relationship between Japan and the Philippines,” he added.
In response, Villar thanked the government and people of Japan for their awarding of the distinguished Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.
“I am deeply honored by their recognition of my humble efforts to promote and strengthen bilateral economic relations between the Philippines and Japan. As our countries commemorated in 2021 the 65th anniversary of the full restoration of diplomatic relations, the history of our friendship dates back to the 16th century. This history of diplomatic relations is the foundation of mutual respect between our peoples,” he said in a statement.
“I humbly accept this distinguished recognition – the first national decoration bestowed by the Japanese government in 1875. This comes at a time when relations between our two countries are blossoming. Japan has been an important partner for Filipinos for decades. as we strive to achieve prosperity. Japan has been our largest investor, being the largest source of bilateral official development assistance to the Philippines since 2001. It has also been a leading partner in modernizing our infrastructure,” added Villar.