Rissho Kosei-kai Sends Annual Peace Mission to Philippines
Rissho Kosei-kai sent its annual peace mission to Bataan, the Philippines, for a five-day visit starting April 6. The aim of the annual mission is to promote cordial relations between Japan and the Philippines through the interaction with people of different institutions in the Philippines.
After arriving in Manila on April 6, the seven-member mission, led by Rev. Waichiro Izumita, director of Rissho Kosei-kai's Youth Department, traveled to the cemetery for Japanese war dead in the city of Muntinlupa in Metropolitan Manila and held a memorial service for all the dead of the Second World War. Since maintenance of the cemetery is financed by Rissho Kosei-kai's Donate-a-Meal Fund for Peace, and the repair of its altar was completed this year, the mission members were assigned to inspect the repair.
On April 7, the mission members toured a Focolare Movement center in the city of Tagaytay in Quezon Province. On April 8, they visited the Friendship Tower, in Bagac, Bataan Province, and held a ceremony celebrating the tower's 37th anniversary. It was built in 1975 by Rissho Kosei-kai and the Bataan Christian Youth Civic Circle (BCYCC) with prayers for world peace. Five BCYCC members were present, including Ms. Anna Ma. B. Tuazon, chairperson of the Bataan Christian Youth Foundation, administered by the BCYCC. After sutra recitation by mission members, members of both organizations prayed together for peace and tolled the Peace Bell.
On April 9, the mission members also attended a ceremony marking Bataan Day, a national event in memory of victims of the war, at the summit of Mount Samat in Quezon.
The program in the Philippines also included a visit to UNICEF's Manila office. The mission members also conferred with leaders of the Infanta Integrated Community Development and Assistance, Inc., in Quezon Province, which is a local NGO working for sustainable agriculture and rural development in Quezon.
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