Forgiveness totem remembers Quirino

A statue of former President Elpidio Quirino will ensure his contributions to Japanese-Philippines reconciliation and friendship will be remembered for years to come. The Quirino pardon in 1953 granted clemency to over 100 Japanese war criminals incarcerated in Bilibid. | Photograph courtesy of Japan in the Philippines

A monument will soon stand at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa as a symbolic tribute to former President Quirino’s exemplary leadership, humanity and historical foresight in shaping bilateral relations between Japan and the Philippines.

The statue serves as a reminder of the unfortunate history that preceded the harmonious bilateral relationship between Manila and Tokyo, and ensures that Quirino’s contributions will be remembered for years to come.

Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko: “the Japanese must keep in mind that the Filipino spirit of forgiveness has been instrumental in overcoming past tragedies and building strong relationship we enjoy now.”

President Elpidio Quirino’s significant contributions to fostering strong ties between Japan and the Philippines were underscored in a ceremony that broke the ground for the monument.

His statesmanship and act of forgiveness towards Japanese Prisoners of War laid the foundation for an enduring and productive peacetime friendship.

In July 2023, the Embassy also commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Presidential Pardon for Japanese POWs at President Quirino’s memorial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Since 2016, a monument of President Quirino stands at Hibiya Park in Tokyo.

Japan continues to show its respect toward President Quirino’s achievements in Japanese society and its impact on Japan-Philippines relations.