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Japan envoy bids farewell; Endo Kazuya is new ambassador

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Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko bade farewell to the Philippines as he ends his diplomatic mission in the country on Tuesday, March 5. He extended his gratitude to the Filipino people for the “warmth and friendship” shown to him during his term in Manila.

As he ends his term of three years and three months, Koshikawa announced that he will be replaced by Ambassador-designate Endo Kazuya.

“As my wonderful journey in the (Philippines) as (Japan) Ambassador comes to a close, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the warmth and friendship extended to me. Your hospitality has truly made this a memorable chapter of my life,” the Japanese envoy posted on X (formerly Twitter).

United States Ambassador to Manila MaryKay Carlson reacted to his post: “It has been an honor to work with you. Congratulations on such a successful and meaningful tenure!”

Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines David Hartman quoted the post and said, “Wishing you the very best always, Ambassador, for your collegiality and friendship. You will be missed!”

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In one of his last activities as Japanese envoy, Koshikawa was seen with students of the Manila Japanese School, who he said “are fortunate to spend the peak of their youth and #BonOdori in this beautiful country.” The hashtag refers to a Japanese festival.

He also shared a collage of some of the events he attended in the Philippines, including a photo with a Pikachu mascot, with some of the Gilas Pilipinas team members, and President Marcos.

In his message to the Philippine media, the ambassador, who will be back in Tokyo for the meantime, said he is looking forward to the media’s “continued partnership with our Embassy and my successor Ambassador Endo Kazuya.”

“In recent years, our two nations have forged stronger bonds, marking a golden age in our bilateral relations. This achievement would not have been possible without your commitment and dedication in highlighting the significant milestones that have defined our journey,” he said.

“Lastly, I hope to visit the Philippines again as a tourist soon,” Koshikawa added.

Marcos, who met with the outgoing Japanese envoy on March 1 before leaving for Australia, lauded him for bringing Philippines-Japan relations to a higher level.

The Japanese ambassador received the Order of Sikatuna, which is an “order of diplomatic merit conferred upon individuals who have rendered exceptional and meritorious services to the Republic of the Philippines; upon diplomats, officials, and nationals of foreign states who have rendered conspicuous service in fostering, developing, and strengthening relations between their country and the Philippines,” the Official Gazette stated.

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