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Japan’s Grassroots Assistance in Phl to deepen bilateral cultural exchange

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Grassroots Assistance Project for Improvement of the Hall of Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku

Japan’s commitment to deepen its bilateral relationship continues in various forms.

Last March 4, 2023, Japan’s Grassroots Assistance Contract Signing Ceremony for the Project for Improvement of the Hall of Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku was successfully held at the Mindanao Kokusai Daigaku (MKD) in Davao City.

Graced by the presence of Ambassador KOSHIKAWA Kazuhiko, Davao Consulate-General Ishikawa Yoshihisa, and MKD President Dr. Ines Yamanouchi Mallari, and Chairperson of the Board Ret. Judge Antonina Oshita-Escovilla.

In order to further support the significance of the cultural hall in MKD in promoting Japanese culture and closer ties between Japan and the Philippines, the Government of Japan provides a grant amounting to US$80,542 for its renovation. This hall is an important venue for the bilateral cultural exchanges in the Mindanao region. After renovation, it is expected to hold Japanese language-related events including speech contests and cultural activities such as Japanese dance, Rakugo, and Noh.

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As a center for higher education and a central institution for grassroots cultural exchange, MKD gathers both students and Filipinos interested in Japan in its hall to witness and participate in its various activities. The complete renovation of the hall aims to provide a more well-equipped venue where its students and interested Filipinos can enjoy future cultural events. Further, its completion hopes to bring forth a better understanding of both Japanese and Filipino cultures.

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During the ceremony, Ambassador KOSHIKAWA expressed his gratitude and respect to MKD’s continuous contribution in forging closer Japanese-Filipino ties. He also mentioned his expectation for the project to achieve “our common goals of enriching the Nikkei community, as well as enhancing grassroots exchanges and people cooperation between our countries.”

The Grant Assistance for Cultural Grassroots Projects was introduced in FY 2000, expanding the scope of the Cultural Grant Aid, providing carefully planned assistance to directly benefit the so-called grassroots level in developing countries through assistance for NGOs and local public bodies. The grassroots assistance for MKD marks an important milestone in the long-standing partnership between Japan and the Philippines in promoting cultural exchange and education.

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