Protest against midnight sale of Philippine property in Tokyo

 

Tokyo

 

November 8, 2009

 

 

   
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Photos courtesy of Migrante - Japan
           
           

 

To Arroyo and to private business bidders of Fujimi:
Stop stealing the shared cultural and historical rights of Filipino and Japanese people!

In three days time the Philippine government will open the bids offered by private companies to tear down the historic Fujimi premises for a 21-story building replacement. If the Arroyo government and the interested private company bidders think that they can take easily a historical site in their own whims, we have to say that they are completely wrong.

Today we are putting our symbolic barricade here at the gate of Fujimi to signal the start of protest movement and legal action against Arroyo and private company bidders in the act of stealing the shared cultural and historical rights of Filipino and Japanese people. This property should be preserved as a reminder to the Filipino people who are unaware of how much we have lost and have been cheated out of the deceptive 50 years Built Operate and Transfer scheme used in developing the Roppongi property. We believe our people are being subjected once again to the same deception in a desperate move by the Arroyo government, which is expiring in 6-month’s time, to capitalize on the Fujimi property.

In the Roppongi Philippine property, out of the whole block, only a little percentage has been allotted to house the Philippine Embassy. And in the Philippine Embassy, very little, or around 10,500 Filipinos per square meter is provided for consular service use. In the highly secretive Fujimi development deal between Arroyo government and bidders, as usual, we suspect that there is the “no entry for Filipinos, the rightful owners of the property, except the Philippine ambassador and guests” provision in the development deal.

The Philippine government neglected totally to give support to almost 200,000 Filipinos living in Japan, including around 170,000 Filipino mothers of Japanese-Filipino children who live in Japan permanently. There are in fact more than 300,000 half Japanese-Filipino children majority of whom are now in their late teens and early twenties.

These numbers of ignored people, who are having Filipino and Japanese nationalities, are enough to engage Arroyo and the private company bidders in legal suits in courts of law, parliaments, as well as on the streets where they can voice out loud and clear their protests in both the Philippines and Japan against Arroyo and Company as provided by the laws of both Japan and the Philippines if they will not desist in touching the Fujimi property. Furthermore, there is the possibility of members of the Japanese society concerned about the destruction of a valuable historical relic joining these protests against the Arroyo administration.

The public condemnations in the Philippines and Japan may not be enough for the Arroyo administration to stop the bids on the Fujimi property as we firmly believe the reported allegation of midnight selling of Fujimi property to fatten the May 2010 election campaign war chest of the Arroyo administration. Nevertheless, we are equally determined to stop this bidding that is being done without regard for the shared cultural and historical rights of Filipino and Japanese people.

Stop the Fujimi property bidding now!

SAVE FUJIMI NETWORK

c/o Center for Japanese-Filipino Families (CJFF)

Room 32 Japan Christian Center

2-3-18 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku-ku

Tokyo 169-0051

Email: savefujimi@gmail.com
 

     
     
           
           

 

Protest against midnight selling of Philippine property greeted Philippine senator’s visit to Tokyo.

In his first hour upon arrival from Narita Airport to Tokyo’s Philippine Embassy, protesters against the midnight sale of Philippine property in Japan greeted Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. The members of Save Fujimi Property International Network composed of Filipinos and Japanese organizations and individuals are appealing to preserve the shared cultural and historical rights of the Filipino and Japanese people.

The protesters network concern is about the historic building in Tokyo that serves as the official residence of Philippine ambassadors to Japan and soon will be torn away by the Arroyo government to give way to a planned 21-story building.

Purchased in 1944 by the Philippine government, the property has a 1952 dated marker from the Philippine National Historical Institute certifying that the structure was built during the Tokugawa era and is located at Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, one of the most upscale real estate sites in Tokyo.

Cesar Santoyo, the protesters network coordinator, stated that “the invitation to bid to develop the Fujimi property issued by the Department of Finance is highly suspect given the coming presidential elections in May 2010. The Arroyo government whose term will end in seven months has been implicated in various high profile corruption cases and we are concerned that many doubts exist about the real intent behind this move to commercialize the Fujimi ambassadorial residence.”

The protesters are demanding that any major decision related to this historic Filipino owned property must be done with full public hearing, both in the Philippines and Japan, backed up by thorough studies and with utmost transparency.

“Generally midnight sale of Philippine property should be prohibited,” as a given response by Senator Cayetano to the protesters. “The Philippine Senate session will resume on November 9, 2009 and we will scrutinize any cases of irregularities in the rush sale of Philippine property in Japan,” as words of support from Senator Cayetano to the protesters.
 

“We will heighten our protest action to frustrate the Arroyo government in stealing away the shared cultural and historical heritage of peoples of the Philippines and Japan,” according to Yuko Takei of the Save Fujimi Network. “Arroyo and the bidders will bear the high cost of political, legal and constitutional questions from our actions” according to Yuko Takei.
 

Series of mass actions against the midnight sale of Philippine property in Japan will kick-off with picket and press conference in front of Fujimi property at 4:00 p.m. to be followed by signature signing in train stations around Tokyo, Saitama, Nagoya, Kyoto, and Osaka by members of the Save Fujimi Property Network.
 

     
           
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November 2, 2009

Hon. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago
Chairperson, Committee on Foreign Relations
Senate of the Philippines
5th floor Rm. 518 GSIS Bldg., Financial Center,
Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Philippines

Dear Senator Miriam Defensor,

We are appealing to preserve the shared cultural and historical rights of the Filipino and Japanese people. Our concern is about the historic building in Tokyo that serves as the official residence of Philippine ambassadors to Japan and soon will be torn away by the Arroyo government to give way to a planned 21-story building.

Purchased in 1944 by the Philippine government under the name of the Filipino people, this property was built during the Tokugawa era and is located at Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, one of the most upscale real estate sites in Tokyo.

As Filipinos concerned with protecting our historical and cultural legacies, we are outraged by this move of the Arroyo government. We demand the total scrapping of the invitation to bid issued by the Philippine Department of Finance and we are advising interested bidders to withdraw their bid for the following reasons:

1. The invitation to bid to develop the Fujimi property issued by the
Department of Finance is highly suspect given the coming presidential
elections in May 2010. The Arroyo government has been implicated in
various high profile corruption cases and we are concerned that many
doubts exist about the real intent behind this move to commercialize the
Fujimi ambassadorial residence.

2. Any major decision related to this historic Filipino owned property must
be done with full public hearing, both in the Philippines and Japan, backed up by thorough studies and with utmost transparency.

We, the undersigned, therefore request your honor that the bidding process be immediately stopped. Finally, we strongly believe that any major decision on this issue be done by a more legitimate successor government with the people's mandate.

Signed:

Save Fujimi Property International Network
c/o Center for Japanese-Filipino Families
Room 32, Japan Christian Center
2-3-28, Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-0051

Signatories:

Japan

Rev. Toshifumi Aso, Philippine Committee, National Christian Council of Japan
Professor Temario Rivra, International Christian University (ICU)
Yuko Takei, Chairperson, Philippine Women’s League
Cesar V. Santoyo, Mission Director, Center for Japanese-Filipino Families (CJFF)
Chie Yamamoto, General Secretary, YWCA, Kyoto
Angelique Shimo, United Japanese-Filipino Children (UJFC)
Yasuhiro Tominaga, United Japanese-Filipino Children (UJFC)
Masato Uruno, United Japanese-Filipino Children (UJFC)
Nestor Puno - Philippine Society in Japan (PSJ) Nagoya
Virgie Ishihara - Filipino Migrants Center (FMC) Nagoya
Danilo Guardiano - KAFIN Nagoya
Manji Ikuta, SoSo Band

Philippines

Bien Lumbera, National Artist for Literature and UP Professor Emeritus, Ramon
Magsaysay Awardee for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts (1993)
Dr Roland Tolentino, Dean, College of Mass Communication, University of the
Philippines
Judy M. Taguiwalo, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Women and Development Studies College of Social Work and Community Development University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
Ken Ishikawa, United Japanese-Filipino Children (UJFC)
Mikas Matsusawa, United Japanese-Filipino Children (UJFC)

Canada

Maru Maesa, Migrante Ontario

Saudi Arabia

Bobby Fajarito, Migrante-Jeddah




 

     
     
           
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