MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
2015 was packed with activities undertaken by the various organizations associated with the Philippines-Japan Society. Being extremely busy throughout the year, it was almost a surprise that 2015 had already ended and the brand new 2016 had begun.
Perhaps, our busyness is a reflection of how close relations between our two countries have become, characterized at various levels as a mutually vital ‘strategic partnership’. In 2015 therefore, we found ourselves true to our mandate of providing multilateral forums for friendly, meaningful, mutually beneficial ties between our peoples.
Hereunder are highlights of the year that passed.
- The Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) hosted a Consultative Meeting of the Board of Governors of the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA) in association with ASJA International (Japan); it was held at the Asian Institute of Management.
- The Philippines-Japan Society (PJS) and its affiliate associations participated in the Philippines-Japan Economic Dialogue organized jointly by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI), Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJEC) and the Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (JCCI); it was held at the Shangri-La Hotel Makati.
- PJS organized and hosted the 2015 Philippines-Japan Friendship Golf Tournament at the Sta. Elena Golf & Country Club, Cabuyao, Laguna.
- PHILFEJA participated in the Annual Meeting of the ASJA Board of Directors and Special Meeting of the ASCOJA Board of Governors held at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo.
- PHILFEJA participated in the 1st ASEAN Youth Conference organized by the Japan Association for the Promotion of Internationalization (JAPI) held at Tokyo University in Tokyo.
- A 25 PHILJEC delegation attended the 33rd JPECC-PHILJEC Annual Joint Meeting held at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo; the Annual Joint Meeting is co-sponsored by PHILJEC and the Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
- The 2015 Joint Meeting preceded the 2015 Philippine Investment Seminar which was co-organized by PHILJEC and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), with the active participation of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA). Over 200 Japanese companies attended the seminar.
- The Nihongo Center Foundation (NCF) graduated 88 trainees under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) Japanese Language Training for Nurse and Caregiver Candidates; NCF undertook the Japanese Language Training for the candidates under the auspices of the Japan Foundation Manila.
- The Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture (PIJLC) signed a Memorandum of Mutual Cooperation with Josai University for the promotion of Nihongo Education in the Philippines and the training and development of Filipino Teachers of the Japanese Language
- Ranking officials of PJS and PHILJEC joined the Official Delegation of E. President Benigno S. Aquino III during his State Visit to Japan
- PJS hosted the 37th Philippines-Japan Friendship Dinner and Awards Night, and conferred upon former Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, Hon. Makoto Katsura the Philippines-Japan Society Medal of Merit; it was held at the Solaire Resort & Casino.
- PHILJEC represented the country in the 6th Asia Business Summit organized by the Keidanren. The meeting, attended by 13 business organizations from 11 Asian economies was held at the Keidanren Kaikan in Tokyo.
- The Philippines-Japan Ladies Association (PJLA) celebrated its 40th Foundation Anniversary with a Dinner Reception at the Manila Golf Club
- PIJLC co-hosted the 2nd Kake International Speech Contest in the Philippines, under the sponsorship of the Kake Gukuen Group of Okayama, Japan. Camille Valerie Torre was awarded First Place, with the right to represent the Philippines in the 5th Kake International Speech Contest to be held in Okayama, Japan in November.
- PHILFEJA attended the Gala Dinner commemorating 45th Anniversary of the Japan University Graduates Association of Singapore (JUGAS) held at the Concorde Hotel in Singapore.
- PHILFEJA hosted the 21st ASCOJA Conference, held at the Dusit Thani Manila, with Japan’s former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda as Guest of Honor
- PHILJEC attended the 41st ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting held at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore
- NCF and PIJLC co-hosted the 2015 Open House held at the Philippines-Japan Friendship Center in Manila.
- NCF opened the 2016 EPA Nihongo Program for 111 nursing and caregiver candidates
- PHILFEJA sent six High School students to Japan to participate in the 2015 National Institute of Youth Exchange (NIYE) in Nagano and Tokyo.
- Camille Valerie Torre of NCF won third place in the 5th KAKE International Nihongo Speech Contest held in Okayama, Japan
- PHILJEC and PHILFEJA jointly hosted the Asian Human Resources Committee Study Mission of the Kansai Keizai Douyukai
- PHILFEJA represented by the Philippine Association of Japanese Government Scholars (PHILAJAMES) attended the ASJA-JAV Symposium on International Education held in Hanoi, Vietnam
- PHILFEJA represented by the Philippine Cultural and Technical Association of Returned Overseas Scholars (PHILCULTAROS) attended the ASJA-Persada Symposium on Monozukuri held in Jakarta, Indonesia
2016 will be another busy year. Already, various activities are scheduled that will involve the active participation of members of the Philippines-Japan Society and its network of friendship organizations. Among the important events we will actively participate in are:
- Yearlong Commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Normalization of Diplomatic Relations between the Philippines and Japan
- January 26-30: Visit of Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan to the Philippines
- February 19-21: Participation of PHILFEJA, represented by SAPILNIP and the Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture (PIJLC) in the Symposium on Nihongo Education co-hosted by ASJA and the Old Japan Students Association of the Royal Kingdom of Thailand (OJSAT), to be held in Bangkok, Thailand
- February 23: 34th Joint Meeting of the Economic Cooperation Committees of the Philippines and Japan, an annual conference jointly organized by PHILJEC and the Japan Chamber of Commerce & Industry, to be held at the New World Hotel
- February 24: 38th Philippines-Japan Friendship Golf Tournament to be held at the Canlubang Golf & Country Club
- March 4: Participation of PHILFEJA represented by the Association of Philippine Private Alumni of Japanese Universities (APPAJU) in the Symposium on Talent Management for Globalization co-hosted by ASJA and the Japan University Graduates Association of Singapore (JUGAS), to be held in Singapore
- End-May: Commencement of the 2016 EPA Nihongo Program
- July: 38th Philippines-Japan Friendship Dinner and Awards Night
- September 30-October 2: 22nd ASCOJA Conference to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Participation in the 7th Asia Business Summit to be held in Singapore
- Participation in the 42nd ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting to be held in Hokkaido sometime in late October
- Commemoration of the 40th Foundation of PHILFEJA
Since our establishment 45 years ago in 1971, the Philippines-Japan Society has pursued and supported worthwhile and meaningful activities that strengthen Philippines-Japan relations. Today, we endeavor to be true to and focused in our pursuit of intimate friendship and goodwill between Filipinos and Japanese. In this connection, I wish to thank our colleagues, fellow-workers and partners for their unqualified and unwavering support for and belief in our ideals. We continue to rely on their active and wholehearted participation in the various activities lined up for the ensuing year.
The Philippines-Japan Society now marks its 45th year. In the midst of the frenzy that accompanies our work, we remember with awe our founders – the Filipino pioneers of Philippines-Japan Friendship – for their vision and foresight, ideals they saw in their dreams which we presently enjoy and benefit from in our generation. They sowed the seeds in their time; we now reap the fruits in ours. Let us continue to sow new seeds for those who will bear after us, the torch of Philippines-Japan friendship into the future.
Francis C. Laurel