Former Defense Secretary, now Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) Chairperson Delfin Lorenzana, has received The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star from the Japanese government as he played a vital role in strengthening the defense ties between the Philippines and Japan. In a statement Tuesday, the BCDA said Japan Emperor Naruhito, through Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko, bestowed the award in a ceremony last June 30 in Makati City. Since 1875, Japan confers The Order of the Rising Sun to both Japanese and foreigners who made exceptional achievements in their fields. The Japanese envoy here said Japan has conferred the national decoration to Lorenzana as an embodiment of the Japanese government’s deepest appreciation for the ex-defense chief’s ‘exemplary leadership and progressive achievements’. Koshikawa said “the resolute dedication and hard work put in by Honorable Lorenzana in building our defense relationship warrants tantamount recognition. This decoration embodies the deepest appreciation of the Government of Japan for his exemplary leadership and progressive achievements.” He lauded Lorenzana’s leadership as Secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND) for six years and expressed his appreciation for his ‘determination in realizing deeper defense ties between Japan and the Philippines in a wide range of areas.’ These fields, he said, include the activation of enhanced defense exchanges, expansion of Japan Self-Defense Forces’ (JSDF) participation in training opportunities, and implementation of capacity-building support in the field of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. ‘The outcomes of these efforts under Hon. Lorenzana’s leadership contributed to accelerating the defense cooperation between Japan and the Philippines,’ the Japanese Embassy in Manila said on Tuesday. Lorenzana was the Secretary of the Department of National Defense from 2016 to 2022. During his term as defense chief, the Implementing Arrangements concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology was signed. Several military equipment, such as five TC90 maritime reconnaissance aircraft for the Philippine Navy, the search and rescue equipment for the Philippine Army, and the PHP1-billion worth UH1H or ‘Huey’ helicopter spare parts for the Philippine Air Force, were also transferred by Japan to the Philippines. Lorenzana also signed the contract for procuring four air surveillance radar systems amounting to USD103 million for the Philippine Air Force from Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in 2018. He also participated in the first 2+2 Defense and Foreign Affairs ministerial meetings in Tokyo in April 2022, where the two governments discussed issues of common interest for Manila and Tokyo. ‘I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to the people and nation of Japan for their enduring support, friendship, and belief in the bilateral relations of our two countries,’ he said.
Source: Philippines News Agency