Seventy- five years after the end of the Pacific War, people still gather to mark its significance. In UST, a symposium was held to commemorate it.
On 16 October 2020, the UST Research Center for Culture, Arts, and Humanities (RCCAH) and the UST Department of History virtually observed the 75th anniversary of the End of the Pacific War in the Philippines with a symposium that featured speeches and academic presentations which memorialized the lessons of the war. It aimed to promote unity and understanding, and to bring about progress in the relationship of the Philippines with Japan and the United States.
The event was an extension of the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Santo Tomas Internment Camp which was celebrated on February 3, 2020. Conducted virtually, it featured academic presentations from the University of Santo Tomas, University of the Philippines, and De La Salle University. Speeches were delivered by officials from the Department of National Defense, the Embassy of the United States, the Embassy of Japan, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, the Philippine Veterans Bank, and the Provincial Government of Bataan. Keynote speakers were the Pulitzer Prize Nominated Author Prof. James Scott from the United States, and Chuo University Distinguished Professor Prof. Ohno Takushi, from Japan.
Although inevitable, this symposium was not intended to relive the wounds, traumas, and horrors inflicted by the Pacific War on the countries involved. On the contrary, the primary objective of the event was to bring about healing and to usher in forward-looking progress among the three countries by enriching historical knowledge and emphasizing new findings of the Filipino experience during the Japanese occupation and the Pacific War.
This symposium, which was organized in partnership with the Department of National Defense-Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (DND-PVAO), Embassy of the United States to the Philippines, Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, Philippine Veterans Bank, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority-Mt. Samat Tourism Enterprise Zone (TIEZA-Mt. Samat FTEZ), and the Provincial Government of Bataan, became an avenue for the recollection and discussion of the lessons brought about by the Pacific War in the Philippines and the Japanese occupation. The organizers hoped that the symposium has encouraged national researchers and research centers to continue their study on the impact of the Pacific War, its memories and legacies, to improve relations among the Philippines, Japan, and the United States.