Future officials of Philippine autonomous government learning about Hiroshima’s reconstruction process

On May 12, eight future employees of a Philippine autonomous government, to be established on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines in 2016, began to undergo training in the city of Hiroshima. They have come to Hiroshima at the invitation of Hiroshima University and Hiroshima Prefecture and will learn, until the beginning of June, about the reconstruction process of the A-bombed city and the practical work of local administration. In their area, the Philippine government and Islamic insurgents had been engaged in ongoing conflict, but the two sides reached a peace agreement in March that involves disarming and establishing an autonomous government.

The eight visitors from the Philippines are all members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), ranging in age from their 20s to their 50s. They are expected to work as staff members of the new Autonomous Government of Bangsamoro, a political entity for a region with Muslims and other ethnic minorities. On May 12, they visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, among other locations.

Rasid Ladiasan, 40, expressed enthusiasm for the training, saying that he hoped to bring back ways to build and maintain peace in his country, though he said this will be challenging after more than 40 years of conflict. They will attend training sessions on government administration, from counter services to the mechanisms involved in administering an autonomous body covering a wider area. They will also pursue practical training in the city of Kure.

The training is sponsored by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Hiroshima Prefecture views the project as part of its “Hiroshima for Global Peace” Plan.

(Originally published on May 13, 2014)