Philippines-Japan Society Website Under Development (Dec 23, 2014)

The Philippines Japan Society, Inc. (PJS) is currently developing its website. The site is envisioned to serve as an online hub for news, event announcements, and activity records of the PJS and its network of Philippines-Japan friendship associations, namely:

  • Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation. Inc. (PJFF)
  • Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee, Inc. (PHILJEC)
  • Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA)
  • Philippines-Japan Ladies Association, Inc. (PJLA)
  • Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture (PIJLC)
  • Nihongo Center Foundation (NCF)

The website will also contain background information on these organizations providing links to related websites, online resources and social media platforms.  The development of the website was outsourced to a third party developer under the management of the PJS Website Editorial Board composed of Mr. Philip Sanvictores, Ms. Marilen Laurel-Loinaz and Ms. Gennie Ferma.  The services of Mr. Josef Orillo – a Japanese language instructor at the NCF and the person behind its Nihongo e-learning program was also engaged to provide the developmental backbone for the website development project.

The website will officially launch in December.


Vision-Mission Project Launched (Dec 16, 2014)

ASCOJA was established in 1977, 32 years after the end of World War II mainly by a special group of wartime foreign students in Japan known as Nanpou Tokubetsu Ryugakusei 南方特別留学生 or “Nantoku (ナントク)”.  Literally, the group was called ‘Special Foreign Students from the South’.

In 1977, ASEAN was then a 5-nation economic and political organization, holding only its 2nd Summit in Kuala Lumpur.  It was also the first time Japan was invited to participate in the ASEAN Summit.  That year, ASEAN signed an Agreement on Preferential Trading Arrangements.  It was also that year when the Fukuda Doctrine of “Heart-to-Heart 心と心 relations“ was first asserted by Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda in Manila while on a tour of ASEAN states.  ASCOJA heartily embraced the Fukuda Doctrine, finding the Doctrine’s commitment to peace, mutuality and equality closely aligned to its central motivation.

Fast forward to 2015:

ASCOJA will hold its 21st Conference in Manila, with its charter membership increased to the 10 countries that now comprise the ASEAN.  The end of the Pacific War would mark its 70th anniversary.   The number of Japan alumni from Southeast Asia would be in the hundreds of thousands. The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) would be launched, which is envisioned to create an integrated region block that will be one of the largest, fastest growing areas in the world.

Where does ASCOJA fit, or find itself in all these – 38 years since its founding.  The world has changed much at an increasingly fast pace.  The future looks even more opaque.  What is the role of students who have studied, are now studying and who will in the future be studying in Japan in the context of a new, integrated ASEAN?  What opportunities should ASCOJA seize?  What challenges would it face?  How should ASCOJA continue to capitalize on the Fukuda Doctrine, its commitment to peace and strong relations based on mutual confidence, mutual respect and mutual trust still strikingly relevant today.

Concerned that ASCOJA may drift into oblivion, worse into insignificance if these realities are not properly addressed, the late ASCOJA Chairman Benjie Laurel (Governor for the Philippines) in perhaps his last act for ASCOJA, pushed for the crafting of a new Vision and Mission for ASCOJA.  This was conveyed by Mr. Philip Sanvictores, Chairman Laurel’s personal emissary to the ASCOJA Governors Meeting held in Tokyo in March 2014.  PHILFEJA has thus spearheaded a ASCOJA Vision-Mission Project and is being impelled by Mr. Sanvictores who has since assumed the Presidency of PHILFEJA, concurrently serving as ASCOJA Chairman for the unexpired term of the late Chairman Laurel.

The ASCOJA Vision-Mission Project is based on a framework crafted by PHILFEJA members from the University of the Philippines designed to elicit inputs from the 10-member ASCOJA Board when it meets in Manila in January 2015.  Mr. Sanvictores said he hopes the ASCOJA Board of Governors can approve the new ASCOJA Vision and Mission statements during the Council Meeting to be held immediately prior to the 21st ASCOJA Conference.


ASCOJA Governors to meet in Manila in January 2015 (Dec 11, 2014)

The ASCOJA Board of Governors will hold a special meeting in Manila on January 24, 2015 at the AIM Conference Center.  This meeting is being called by PHILFEJA President Philip Sanvictores, concurrently ASCOJA Chairman, in order to discuss the proposed joint ASCOJA-ASJA Project to Develop an Online Communication Platform envisioned to ease inter-chapter communication, while promoting intercultural and people-to-people interaction among especially among young ASEAN nationals and Japanese.  The meeting will also tackle various matters concerning the 21st ASCOJA Conference which is being organized by PHILFEJA and will be held in Manila in September or October 2015.

Governors from all ASCOJA Chapters are expected to attend the meeting.  ASJA International will likewise send a delegation to the meeting.  A welcome dinner will be tendered in honor of the visiting Governors and ASJA officials on January 23.  The meeting, which will take up the entire day, will conclude with the PHILFEJA Shinnen Kai 新年会to be held at the Philippines-Japan Friendship Hall, Dominion Building, Makati.  The 2015 PHILFEJA Shinnen Kai is specifically timed to coincide with the ASCOJA meeting to enable PHILFEJA, ASCOJA and ASJA members to meet and interact with each other.

This activity is being organized by the PHILFEJA Secretariat led by Secretary-General Cecile Tolentino with the support of Special Project Managers, Mrs. Marilen Loinaz and Mrs. Gennie Ferma.  Event Managers are Ms. Kelly Biscarra and Ms. Gen Hieida.


PJS 2014 Annual Membership Meeting Held (Dec 5, 2014)

The Philippines-Japan Society (PJS) held its 2014 Annual Membership Meeting on December 4, 2014 at the Philippines-Japan Friendship Center, 3rd Floor, Dominion Building, 833  A. Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. PJS President Francis C. Laurel presided over the meeting.

The 2014 annual report including the audited financial statements for FY2013 was presented to the members.  For the ensuing FY2014, the following members of the Board of Trustees were reelected:

Francis C. Laurel
Jose C. Laurel V
Gerard B. Sanvictores
Feliciano L. Torres
Miguel Ma. Guerrero
Eusebio V. Tan
JJ Soriano


NCF Trains Filipino Caregiver-Candidates (Dec 1, 2014)

The Nihongo Center Foundation (NCF) entered into an agreement with the Japan Foundation Manila (JFM) to conduct preparatory Nihongo training for about 90 Filipino candidates bound for nursing-caregiver jobs in Japan.  This group of students represents about one-third of some 300 nurse-caregiver candidates who will be deployed to Japan under an ongoing Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) signed in 2006 by the governments of the Philippines and Japan and ratified as a treaty by the Philippine Senate in 2008.

This group of trainees were chosen by the Japan International Corporation of Welfare Services (JICWELS).  The rest of the candidates undergo training at the TESDA under the auspices of JFM. It is noted that the number of Filipino caregiver-candidates has been increasing yearly due to strong demand from Japanese hospitals and hospices.  As a result, the implementing agencies for the Nihongo Training component, JFM and the TESDA have been hard pressed in coping with the requirement for teaching the Japanese language. In 2014, NCF was tapped to provide Nihongo teachers and classroom facilities to augment their limited capacities.

The designation of NCF as the Nihongo training institute for Japan-bound Filipino nurses and caregivers reflects the outstanding regard of the Government of Japan for the teaching staff, curriculum design and facilities of NCF in Manila.  For this batch of caregiver-candidates, NCF put up 5 classes to accommodate the 90 students which started in November 2014 and will end in May this year.

The course coverage is as follows:

  1. Minnano Nihongo Elementary Book I (L. 1 – L.25) – four classes made up of about 70 students;
  2. Minnano Nihongo Elementary Book II (L.26 – L.50) – one class of about 20 students with some prior knowledge of Nihongo:
  3. Minnano Nihongo Intermediate Book I (L. 1 – L. 6)

At the end of the course, all the candidates are expected to pass the conventional Level 3 (3級) which is currently designated as N4 level of the reglementary Japanese Language Proficiency Test administered by the Japan Foundation.  In the current batch, about 20 students with some prior knowledge of Nihongo are expected to pass N3.

Opening ceremonies for the NCF classes were held on November 17, 2014 at the Jose P. Laurel Hall, Philippines-Japan Friendship Center Manila along R. Papa Street (University Belt), Sampaloc, Manila. Guests of Honor were Amb. Benjamin F. Sanvictores, Chairman of the Board of Trustees – NCF;  Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, NCF President; Dir. Nimfa de Guzman, Director for Welfare & Employment, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA); Dir. Shuji Takatori, Japan Foundation – Manila; Mr. Hiroshi Kozai, Director for International Operations, Japanese Language Department, Japan Foundation Tokyo; and Mr. Hiroyuki Enoki, Labor Attaché, Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.

Speeches were delivered by President Sanvictores, POEA Dir. De Guzman, Japan Foundation Manila Dir. Takatori, Mr. Enoki, Labor Attaché of the Embassy of Japan, and Prof. Kenjiro Ogata, Academic Advisor of the PIJLC-NCF.

Dr. Edwin P. Mojica served as Master of Ceremonies.

PHOTOS OF THE EVENT


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