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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Meet the 1st Pinay graduate of Japan National Defense Academy

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A native of Davao is the first Filipina graduate of the Japan National Defense Academy.

Second Lieutenant Karen Eve Mante took her oath before Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel Lopez at the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo Monday.

2nd Lieutenant Karen Eve E. Mante, the first Filipina graduate of the Japan National Defense Academy, taking her oath before Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel M. Lopez at the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo. Photo courtesy of PHL embassy
The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo on Tuesday said Lopez also administered the oath-taking and donning of rank of Second Lieutenant to Mante.

"A native of Davao, Second Lieutenant Mante spent a year in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) before being sent by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to the JNDA as a full scholar. She spent five years of cadetship training in the JNDA, which since 1953 has produced officers for the Japan Self-Defense Forces (SDF)," the embassy said.

Mante will join the Philippine Air Force, and was one of the first two foreign female graduates of the JNDA. She received an award as an outstanding cadet along with a badge for excellence in physical training.

Commencement ceremonies

Commencement ceremonies of Mante's batch of 492 graduates were held Sunday, March 22, at the Japan National Defense Academy Compound in Yokosuka.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other dignitaries graced the occasion.

Mante said she was initially hesitant to accept the scholarship to Japan as it would involve more years of study.

But she accepted “because opportunity knocks only once,” and expressed willingness to go through the same experience if asked to do so again.

Among those who witnessed the oath-taking and donning of rank ceremony were:

- Navy Captain Samuel Zamar Felix, Philippine Defense Attaché
- Col. Noel Zablan Plaza, incoming Defense Attaché
- Colonel Hideo Takahashi and Colonel Hiroko Konno of the Japan Air Self Defense Force, Air Staff Office
- seven Filipino cadets studying at the JNDA.

The embassy said Takahashi was Japan’s defense attaché in the Philippines from 2007 to 2010. He helped organize scholarships for Filipino cadets in Japan.

For her part, Konno was the first female graduate of the JNDA. —Joel Locsin/KBK, GMA News

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1 comment:

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