MANILA – The official residence of the Philippine Ambassador to Japan is now a national historical landmark.
A historical marker was unveiled on Monday at the property's entrance in central Chiyoda ward.
“This is a historic and momentous occasion that honors the history and national patrimony of the Philippines," said Philippine Ambassador to Japan, Manuel M. Lopez.
The new landmark is pursuant to the resolution No. 01, Series 2013 adopted by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) on March 11 last year. With the adoption of the NCHP resolution, the official residence became the first, and so far only officially-designated Philippine national historical landmark outside of the country.
Lopez and NHCP Chair Dr. Maria Serena Diokno presided over the ceremony, which was witnessed by officials of the Philippine Embassy and the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
Located within a 4,500-square meter property of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the Iberian-style residence was first built in 1934 by the family of the prominent businessman Baron Zenjiro Yasuda, whose descendants include the international artist Ms. Yoko Ono.
The property was purchased by then President Jose P. Laurel for the Philippine Government on March 31, 1944.
To this day, the Kudan--as the residence is also referred to on account of its location near the Kudanzaka hilltop—serves as both the official home in Tokyo of Philippine Ambassadors to Japan, and a central venue for the conduct of Philippine diplomacy and cultural promotion.
“Kudan is the crown jewel of the Philippine Foreign Service, and we should preserve this important part of our diplomatic legacy and heritage," Lopez said.
The NHCP Guidelines on the Identification, Classification, and Recognition of Historic Sites and Structures in the Philippines officially defines a National Historical Landmark as “site or structure closely associated with a significant historical event, achievement, characteristic, turning point or stage in Philippine history.”