BARANGAY Mintal has officially been declared a Japanese heritage site Tuesday through a resolution passed by the Davao City Council in recognition of the historical bonds between the people of Japan and Davao.
Mintal was then known as “Little Tokyo” during the World War II.
Councilor Rachel Zozobrado, City Council chair of the committee on international relations, said Barangay Mintal will construct a Japanese-themed park and will also reconstruct Japanese relic sites in the barangay.
“Ang target is mahuman siya (it will be finished) by August when most Japanese tourists visit the city. With city tourism, a barangay tourism council will be established, patterned after the Japanese Heritage declaration. This will hopefully make Mintal another tourist destination,” Zozobrado said.
In a separate statement issued earlier, Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIPC) chief Roberto Teo said, “The declaration of Mintal as a Japanese heritage site will encourage residents to look at possible economic activities which they can do to attract Japanese and other tourists.”
Philippine Nikkei Jinkai Inc. chairman Bernardo Fernandez said all of Mintal used to be occupied and owned by the Japanese.
Barangay captain Ramon Bargamento has already identified a site where the planned Japanese garden would be built, the small plaza beside the Mintal Gym.
However, Historical Society chair Enrica Babao said the place is too small and suggested that they scout for bigger areas since there are lots of government institutions in the area like the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Bureau of Plant Industry