MANILA, Philippines – While the Japanese government continues to deny the Malaya lolas an apology for turning them into sex slaves during World War II, a private philanthropist is doing his part to heal the wounds of that old war.
The R.K Shimizu (Nagasaki) Foundation Inc turned over to the education department on Wednesday, February 22, school buildings it donated. These were built along the route of the infamous ‘Death March.’
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the donation is a concrete manifestation of healing from the ghastly memories of the past. It also signals looking forward to a future with hope and positivism. “We thankfully accept this donation from R.K Shimizu (Nagasaki) Foundation, Inc. through its president Mr. Katsutoshi Shimizu whose mission is to help build dreams and bridge societies. We hope many will follow suit,” Luistro added.
Lucky recipients of the donations were the following schools:
- Bantan Elementary School in Orion, Bataan
- Angelina Jimenez Elementary School in Capas, Tarlac
Both schools received a 2-classroom school building with toilet, a Japanese garden, 2 sets of computer units, 2 sets of LCD TV units, school uniform and classroom equipment including tables, chairs and chalkboards.
The donation program is lodged under DepEd’s Adopt-A-School program which invites the private sector to donate to public schools and help raise the quality of education.
According to a DepEd press release, Shimizu, now 74, first visited the Philippines in 1969 and is involved in the business of bringing into the Philippines Japanese technology, along with assorted ships/parts that are used. “Having been in and out of the country more than 500 times, Shimizu considers the Philippines his second home.”
To date, Shimizu’s foundation has adopted and donated school buildings and the same set of school furniture to one school in Talisay and 2 schools in Calatagan, Batangas, according to the DepEd.
“The chairs and tables – donated by the Prefecture of Nagasaki where Shimizu hails – are designed not only to carry 5 times the weight of an adult person but also to protect school children in times of emergency,” said Luistro. – Rappler.com