PHILFEJA Elects New President, Amends By-laws in Annual Members’ Assembly

The Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) elected University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Dean and Professor of Economics, Dr. Jose V. Camacho as its new president during its annual members’ assembly held last July 30, 2016 at the Amb. Jose S. Laurel III Hall in Dominion Building, Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. Also central in the assembly was the submission of the amended articles of incorporation and by-laws of the organization, which all members approved unanimously.

Speaking to the General Assembly, Dr. Camacho encouraged members to support the major activities of PHILFEJA in the coming fiscal year. These include the 22nd ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA) Conference scheduled on September 30-October 2, 2016 in Kuala Lumpur; the 40th Anniversary of PHILFEJA; and the Asia-Japan Alumni (ASJA)-PHILFEJA Symposium tentatively scheduled in February 2017.

Outgoing PHILFEJA President, Philip B. Sanvictores, presided over the meeting and presented his report for the fiscal years 2014-2016. As for the Board of Trustees, the following incumbent members were elected to serve for the fiscal year 2016-2017 until their successors are qualified and duly elected:


# Name of Trustee Association


The auditing firm of Diaz, Murillo, Dalupan & Company was designated as PHILFEJA independent external auditors for the same fiscal year.




PHILFEJA Annual Members’ Assembly July 2016 – Minutes of the Meeting
PHILFEJA Annual Members’ Assembly July 2016 – Photo Album
PHILFEJA Annual Members’ Assembly July 2016 – List of Attendees

7th Asian Business Summit, Singapore:
Business Leaders Set Measures to Sustain Region’s Economic Dynamism

Last July 16, 2016, business leaders from 10 Asian economies converged to hold the 7th Asian Business Summit at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Singapore. In a Joint Statement, the participating nations delineated measures to sustain Asia’s economic dynamism and described the role the private sector has in supporting the endeavor.

Four topics were highlighted in the meeting namely Regional Economic Integration, Infrastructure Development, Innovation & Technology, and Environment & Energy. The delegates agreed to advocate for the goals set during the meeting and provide actionable inputs to the policy makers of their respective Economies.

On the subject of Regional Economic Integration, The Summit placed particular importance on the need to have inclusive Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). It sees the implementation of EPA/FTAs as a way to liberalize trade, raise the price competitiveness of the region as a whole, and attract more foreign direct investments especially in the manufacturing and services sectors.

Meanwhile, for Infrastructure Development, the business leaders acknowledged the pressing need of infrastructures such as logistics (railways, harbors, airports, LNG terminals etc.), electric power plants, and telecommunications in Asian economies.

The Summit believes that through reduced customs duties on materials/equipment, transparent domestic regulations, sufficient protection of intellectual property rights and unrestricted remittance, a business environment in which private sectors could undertake infrastructure projects without encountering operational obstacles can be created.  

For Innovation & Technology, The Summit encouraged the establishment of special economic zones (SEZs) in each Economy, which offer incentives to companies and research institutes devoted to developing breakthrough technologies. It also encouraged broader cooperation with third economies in making sure that issues concerning region-specific standards and technical regulations do not stifle business activities in the region.

Lastly, on the discussion about Environment & Energy, The Summit urged the prompt ratification and implementation of the Paris Agreement signed last December 2015 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Also, to address the issue on emissions and energy efficiency, the leaders encouraged the deployment of energy-efficient infrastructure, housing, motor vehicles, and household appliances as well as eliminating trade barriers on environmentally friendly goods.

In total, 11 business organizations from 10 Asian Economies participated in the meeting. A complete list of delegates and their respective organizations/companies can be found under the References section below.

7th Asian Business Summit Joint Statement
7th Asian Business Summit List of Delegates
7th Asian Business Summit Program
7th Asian Business Summit Photo Album


Amb. Manuel Lopez Receives Medal of Merit at 38th Phil-Japan Friendship Dinner

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Philippines to Japan, Manuel Moreno Lopez, received the Medal of Merit from the Philippines-Japan Society (PJS) during a 38th Philippines-Japan Friendship Dinner and Awards Night held at the New World Hotel, Makati last July 29, 2016. As the highest award the Society can confer, the Medal of Merit recognized Ambassador Lopez’ outstanding achievements in the promotion of Philippines-Japan relations citing his major accomplishments as Philippine Ambassador to Japan.

PJS President, Francis C. Laurel, and Vice-President, Gerard B. Sanvictores, presented the award to Ambassador Lopez after the reading of the Citation by Atty. Jose Vicente Jimenez, PJS Corporate Secretary.

In his acceptance speech, Ambassador Lopez expressed his deepest gratitude and respect to PJS and its Japanese counterpart, The Philippine Society of Japan (Hiripin Kyokai) for the work that these organizations have been doing in promoting deeper understanding and genuine friendship between the two countries.

“With great honor and deep appreciation, I humbly accept this Medal of Merit from the Philippines-Japan Society. This recognition of my work as the Philippine Ambassador to Japan is very special to me, coming from an organization whose ideals, beliefs, and goals are totally congruent with mine,” said the Ambassador.

He also thanked the people who have worked with him and supported him during his 5-year posting and shared the award to the estimated 220,000 Filipinos residing in Japan. “Our Kababayans in Japan are our real ambassadors of our country. This realization defined my work the past 5 1/2 years as Ambassador and made me work even harder for them.”

The annual affair was graced by equally distinguished guests including the Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines, Kazuhide Ishikawa, and Ambassador Makoto Katsura, President of The Philippine Society of Japan, who himself was last year’s recipient of the PJS Medal of Merit.

Working Towards Strategic Partnership

Named ambassador to Japan in 2010 by President Benigno S. Aquino III, Ambassador Lopez worked towards elevating the two countries’ relations to the level of a strong strategic partnership for which he was conferred the Order of the Sikatuna.

One of Ambassador Lopez’ major accomplishments was his management of a close working relationship with Japan towards the peaceful resolution of the West Philippine Sea issue. He also secured Japanese support, assistance, and expertise in addressing the Philippines’ vital infrastructure needs, including the Mega Manila Transport Roadmap.  

Moreover, Ambassador Lopez sustained the expansion of trade with Japan, oversaw the acceleration of direct investments of Japanese companies in the Philippines, and  he shepherded the intake of Japan’s record-high Official Development Assistance to the Philippines.

Barely two months from assuming his post, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck on March 11, 2011. Very new to the job, Ambassador Lopez heroically marshalled the Philippine Embassy staff in locating, assisting and safely evacuating Filipinos affected by the disaster, not only in the Tohoku region but the entire country as well.  It was a dramatic start of his fledgling diplomatic career – steeped with unprecedented challenges – which fortuitously turned into a blessing as it served to weld the strong and solid relationship of his Philippine Embassy team that would serve the large Filipino community in Japan for the next five years.

Ambassador Lopez’ tour of duty was highlighted by not just a few high-level visits between the Philippines and Japan, including the State Visit to the Philippines of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2013, the State Visit to Japan of President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2015, and more recently, the historic visit to the Philippines of their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan last January 2016 – wherein he played significant central roles that resulted in major diplomatic milestones.  



PJS Citation for Amb. Lopez, Medal of Merit
Acceptance Speech of Amb. Lopez
Program, 38th Phil-Japan Friendship Dinner and Awards Night
38th Phil-Japan Friendship Dinner and Awards Night Photo Album

Nikki Gevaña Bags Top Prize at 6th Kake Gakuen Speech Contest

An admirer of Japanese food and culture, Nikki Gevaña, emerged as top winner in this year’s 6th Kake Trophy Nihongo Speech Contest held last September 10 at the Nihongo Center Foundation (NCF), Makati Campus. Besting four other contestants, Gevaña also received the honor to represent the Philippines in the international round of the speech competition to be held on November 25, 2016 at the Okayama University of Science in Okayama, Japan.

Gevaña, who started studying Japanese last year, delivered her speech on the common theme “私にとって一番大切な物” (Watashi ni totte, ichiban taisetsuna mono/The Most Important Thing for Me). The speech, which won her an educational trip to Japan, cash prize, and tuition incentives, highlighted the importance of education and how it can be an impetus for improving one’s life and achieving success. Moving into the international competition, Gevaña also has a chance to grab a 2-year scholarship at any of the three universities under the Kake Educational Institution.

Other winners in the contest include Leah Uychiongco who came in at 2nd place and Maria Roldan at 3rd place. Uychiongco’s speech expressed how human life is the most important thing for her while Roldan talked about love and how it helped her get through life’s struggles.  

Tatsuo Kitagawa, director of the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC), together with Yoshiya Yoshimi, director of Kake Educational Institution, and Kenjiro Ogata, academic advisor of The Philippine Institute of Japanese Language and Culture (PIJLC) and NCF made up the prestigious panel of judges. PILJC and NCF president, Philip Sanvictores welcomed the guests and participants with his opening remarks, while faculty member, Josef Carlo Orillo took on the emcee’s role during the event.

The Kake Trophy Speech Contest is an annual competition showcasing the Japanese Language skills of PIJLC and NCF students. Winners get scholarships and tuition fee waivers from its main sponsor, Kake Educational Institution based in Okayama, Japan, and co-sponsor, PIJLC and NCF. The event is also supported by JICC representing the Embassy of Japan.



6th Kake Trophy Speech Contest Program
Nikki Gevaña, speech: 私にとって一番大切な物
6th Kake Tropy Speech Contest Winner Announcement
Leah Uychiongco, speech: 私にとって一番大切な物
Maria Roldan, speech: 私にとって一番大切な物
6th Kake Trophy Speech Contest Photo Album

PHILJEC-JPECC Hold 34th Joint Meeting Celebrating 60 Years of Phil-Japan Relations

The Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee, Inc. (PHILJEC) and its counterpart, Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee (JPECC) held their 34th joint meeting at the New World Hotel in Makati City last February 22-23, 2016.

To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the normalization of bilateral ties between Japan and the Philippines, this year’s meeting adopted the theme of “Philippines-Japan@60 Onwards,” and served as a forum for the discussion of socio-economic issues and collaborative ideas that will enable the two economies to effectively compete in the global market.

PHILJEC Chairman, Roberto Jose Castillo and JPECC Chairman, Toshiyuki Shiga welcomed key speakers and delegates from respected government institutions and private companies, which included Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary, Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr. and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, Kazuhide Ishikawa among other distinguished guests.

“We are profoundly honored that this 60th Anniversary [of the establishment of normal diplomatic relations] was marked at the first month of this year by the visit to the Philippines of their Majesties: Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko,” Chairman Castillo remarked during his welcome speech.

Expounding more about the Emperor’s visit in the previous month, Castillo shared, “I, myself, was asked by His Majesty Emperor Akihito to keep helping enhance the business relations between Japan and the Philippines. In my mind and in my heart, His Majesty’s request is a most honorable command to me and to all of us in PHILJEC.”

Discussions in the meeting focused on issues affecting businesses in the Philippines and Japan: The socio-economic and monetary situation in the Philippines and Japan; the promotion of investment in automotive, electronics, power and science and technology industry in the two countries; and possible business collaborations that could help the two nations continue to be globally competitive.



PHILJEC Chairman, Roberto Jose Castillo Opening Remarks
PHILJEC-JPECC 34th Joint Meeting Program
Congratulatory Message from President Benigno Aquino III
PHILJEC-JPECC 34th Joint Meeting Photo Album
PHILJEC-JPECC 34th Joint Meeting Presentations