PALACE REJECTS JAPANESE ENVOY'S APOLOGY
On the other hand, a ranking DFA official urged Takano to go home.
"As diplomats, we can always ask our governments to recall us if we are no longer comfortable in our assignments," the official said.
The official added that if Takano is "saying he could not sleep well here and that’s been the case for a year now, why is he still alive? Why is he still here?"
Takano should be sensitive enough to know that he could no longer work amiably with Philippine officials after what he did, and thus he should have the initiative to leave on his own, the DFA official said.
"He might also be recalled by his government. But we are still trying to find out why a Japanese ambassador suddenly became too outspoken. It’s very unusual for him to do that, especially for a career diplomat like him," the official said.
Other speculations have spread on why Takano made his adverse commentaries on the Philippines.
Some sources said he may have wanted to catch the ire of the Philippine government so there would be a reason for him to leave or be recalled.
Information from Tokyo revealed that Takano was accused of granting projects in the Philippines without proper bidding.
This scandal, supposedly involving Takano, came out in Japanese tabloids but the details of the articles were not readily available as of yesterday.
It is not known whether Takano would be investigated by the Japanese parliament, but the allegations against him include favoring his friends in the construction business to undertake projects here, particularly the construction of hospitals.
Other diplomatic sources said he might be under instruction to attack the Philippines in order to justify the cutting of official development assistance to the country.
Some said he was pressured by the Japanese business community to express their sentiments against the Philippines’ business system and policies.
But Ebdalin told The STAR that Takano, as a seasoned diplomat, could have had more tact.
For starters, Takano could have sent an official communication to the DFA to air the grievances of the Japanese and their business community.
"His statements are sweeping and more of generalizations. It’s as if the Philippine government has not done anything right," Ebdalin said.
Since Takano has apologized for his remarks, Ebdalin said the government would have to assess all other considerations before taking any action against him.
"You cannot just declare a diplomat persona non grata. He was very sorry when we summoned him," he said.
Ebdalin said the government is aware of these problems but a lot of things had been done to address them in order to lure investors and tourists.
Takano apologized for his candor in describing the Philippines as dangerous and frightening, but did not retract his statements.
"He further stated that (it was) his personal opinion and he said he had no intention of inflicting damage and harm to the country," Ebdalin said.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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