28 October 2016 — The memorial marker for the peace-making efforts of former President Elpidio Quirino and Mr. Kanrai Kano was unveiled in Yasugi city, Shimane prefecture on October 23.
Mr Kano is a Japanese painter born in Yasugi City who, immediately after the Second World War, sent more than 200 petition letters to world leaders, including President Quirino, to seek pardon for the Japanese war criminals. The memorial is in honor of President Quirino’s act of giving executive clemency in 1953 to the 105 Japanese soldiers convicted as war criminals in the Philippines, a humanitarian act that made a deep and lasting impact to Mr Kano.
On June 8, 1955, Mr. Kano had the opportunity to meet President Quirino at Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel, the photograph of the poignant moment is now etched on the memorial located outside the Kano Art Museum in Yasugi City, along with an epitaph containing the former President’s message when he extended the executive clemency in 1953.
The building of the memorial marker in Yasugi City was initiated and funded by the heirs of Mr. Kano. The unveiling was witnessed by members of the Quirino family led by Mr Eddie Quirino and Ms. Aleli Angela Quirino, grandchildren of the former President. Philippine Consul General in Osaka, Maria Teresa L. Taguiang and local Japanese officials of Shimane Prefecture also witnessed the ceremony and gave congratulatory messages.
Members of the Kano family, descendants of Mr Kano, warmly welcomed the representatives of the Quirino family who traveled from the Philippines to witness the unveiling of the memorial. Yasugi City Mayor Hiroki Kondo accepted the turn-over of the memorial from the Kano family to Yasugi City. Shimane Prefecture Vice Governor, Mr. Fujihara Takayuki conveyed the Governor’s congratulatory message during the ceremony.
It will be recalled that last June 18, officials from the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, together both Japanese and Philippine officials, unveiled the first monument dedicated to President Quirino in Hibiya Park in Tokyo.
Philippine EMBASSY Philippines