UST History Department Chair Associate Professor Augusto V. de Viana, Ph.D., presented his paper at the joint conferences of the Pacific Conference on Security (APSEC) 2016 , Asia Pacific International Studies Association (APISA) held on December 8 and 9, 2016 at the University of Osaka Nakanoshima Center.
In his paper titled “Ending Hatred and the Start of Healing: President Elpidio Quirino’s Pardoning of Japanese War Prisoners in July 1953 and its Effects,” de Viana discussed the personal and political dilemma faced by President Quirino when he issued an executive clemency allowing the last remaining Japanese war criminals in the Philippines to return to Japan. The executive clemency freed 32 prisoners, reduced the death sentences of 27 Japanese convicts facing the death penalty to life imprisonment and and 56 others were to serve definite sentences in Japan. De Viana said that the pardon was greatly appreciated by the Japanese government and people who urged other countries to follow the example of the Philippines. While Quirino lost his bid to be reelected as President of the Phiippines in 1953, his selfless act played an important role in the reestablishment of Philippine-Japanese diplomatic relations and more than 70 years after the end of World War II both countries were the closest of allies in political and economic matters.
The joint conference, which discussed security and diplomatic issues in the Asia-Pacific region, was organized by the International Academic Forum (IAFOR) and co-sponsored by the University of Osaka.