~ “Sekai juu doko datte, warai ari namida ari…Sekai wa semai, sekai wa marui, sekai wa onaji, tadahitotsu… there’s a welcome here, there’s a welcome here, there’s a big warm welcome here…”~
These are the songs that greeted His Excellency Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie Abe last January 13, 2017 during their short visit at Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School.
The Prime Minister was then officially welcomed by the school directress Mrs. Ines P. Mallari and PNJK Inc. chairman Judge Antonina B. Escovilla while leading him and his wife to the school’s gymnasium to witness the hand mime presentation of the Nikkeisians and to meet the rest of the PNJK family. The Prime Minister then observed a Nihongo Class held at the school’s AVR.
In the official page of the Prime Minister, he wrote:” At the international school established to educate ethnic Japanese Filipinos, I was moved by the warm welcome from children singing ” Chiisana Sekai (It’s a Small World) in Japanese”.
Prior to the visit, the PNJK Family (PNJK Inc., Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School and Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku) already prepared even if there was no confirmation yet from the Embassy of Japan. Each student was asked to make a Japanese flag and Philippine flag to be waved during the arrival of the Prime Minister while singing the welcome songs.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Davao City last January 12, 2017 (Thursday night) making him the first head of government to visit the country during the Duterte administration and the first to visit President Duterte’s hometown, Davao City.
The visit of Japan’s Prime Minister also marked the strong relationship between Philippines and Japan. (G)