MANILA - The Philippine government is now making final preparations for the historic visit of Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

The Japanese imperial couple will arrive on Tuesday for a five-day state visit. They will be welcomed by President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.

"The visit of their Majesties is significant as this year, 2016, is the 60th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and the Philippines. President Aquino has acknowledged that in Japan and its people, 'we have found steadfast partners and friends in the truest sense of the word', as concretely manifested by its being the largest contributor of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Philippines," said Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma.

"Japan is also one of the leading international advocates of the peace process in Mindanao. Moreover, Japan has provided significant assistance to the Philippines in terms of improving urban transportation and in providing relief to calamity victims," Coloma added.

Although the Philippines and Japan are moving forward politically and diplomatically from the atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army, for some, the past is hard to forget.

Former Filipino "comfort women" said they are hoping that with the Emperor's visit, Japan will finally answer their decades-old demand for an apology and compensation.

"As a person and as the Emperor, he could influence many people in the cabinet of Japan, and the people of Japan themselves. So that is how we value the coming of the Emperor. If he will only do his sense of responsibility, because when you inherit the crown, you inherit the responsibility, and we know for a fact that the Japanese military sexual slavery has been designed, implemented, and with the hand of the Emperor." said Lila Pilipina executive director Rechilda Extremadura.

Meanwhile, foreign relations analyst Prof. Richard Heydarian believes these comfort women could finally get their peace with Akihito's visit.

"The visit by the Emperor is very relevant because it's part of his peace tour. Since 2005, he has actually visited Palau, Saipan, and other countries to make sure to the world, and to communicate to world the conscience of the Japanese people, the contrition, the apology, the regret about imperial Japanese aggression during the Second World War," Heydarian said.

"Japan provided apology in 1993, in the Murayama statement in 1995, but it was generic. What we expecting is a much more specific personal apology. Emperor has no bureaucratic, administrative power but he's the symbol of state, he's the conscience and it's important to make that apology," he said.

"He's expected to make sure to say to the world, and to the Philippines in particular that Japan feels bad," Heydarian added.

- ANC, Dateline Philippines, January 25, 2016