|SOUVENIR PROGRAM||COMPENDIUM||PHOTO ALBUM||PRESS RELEASE|
The 21st Conference of the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASOCJA) was held at the Dusit Thani Manila on October 2-4, 2015. The Conference was hosted and organized by the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA).
The theme of the Conference was “ASCOJA in an Integrated ASEAN”, anchored on the implications and impact that the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is expected to bear on the 10 ASEAN countries, specifically in the context of the activities and directions of respective Japan alumni associations.
Over 300 delegates attended the one-day biannual meeting on October 3rd. Former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda of Japan was the Guest of Honor, while Ambassador Delia D. Albert – former Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines – was the Keynote Speaker. Ambassador Albert authoritatively traced the history of ASEAN then described the potential and challenge of the ASEAN Community. Dr. Wilfrido Villacorta – former Philippine permanent ambassador to ASEAN – also spoke on the role of Japan alumni from ASEAN (i.e., ASCOJA) in the emerging Pax Asia-Americana.
Among the dignitaries who graced the opening ceremonies were Japan’s State Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fishers, Minister Toshiko Abe (an ardent supporter of Japan alumni in the Japanese Diet), Ambassador Kazuhide Ishikawa of Japan, former Philippine Prime Minister Cesar EA Virata, Ambassador Benjamin F. Sanvictores, and former Governor Jose C. Laurel V.
Breakout sessions on three main topics – education, economy and sociocultural integration – were discussed by speakers from nine ASCOJA chapter associations. The sessions were respectively moderated by Dr. Maricar Prudente of the De La Salle University (Session on Education, Research & Development), Dr. Adelina Tan of the Ateneo de Manila University (Session on Economic and Business Integration), and Dr. Ricardo Jose of the University of the Philippines (Session on Cultural Diversity and Social Integration). Highlights and findings of each breakout session were presented in a Plenary Assembly moderated by Dr. Tereso Tullao (De La Salle University) who thereupon synthesized the presentations and drew up imperatives for ASCOJA in the emerging ASEAN Community.
Delegates from ASEAN and Japan gathered at the Dusit Thani on October 2 (Friday) for a Welcome Dinner. Earlier in the day, the ASCOJA Council convened to take up various policy matters. The Vision-Mission Statement and revised Objectives of ASCOJA were unanimously ratified and approved for incorporation into the Articles of Organization and By-Laws. The Council also decided to hold the Conferences annually instead of the biennial schedule observed by the then 5-member ASCOJA.
After the conference, Ambassador Ishikawa hosted a sumptuous dinner for ASCOJA, thanking all Japan alumni for serving as bridges of friendship, understanding and camaraderie between Japan and their countries. On Sunday, October 4th, the delegates went on a day tour of Intramuros. Another group played a round of golf at the South Forbes Golf Course in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. The traditional Farewell Dinner and Turnover Ceremonies were held later in the evening.
The next host (22nd ASCOJA Conference) will be the Japan Graduates Association of Malaysia (JAGAM). PHILFEJA President Philip B. Sanvictores turned over the ASCOJA Chairmanship to JAGAM President Dr. Ooi Chee Keong symbolized by the handing of the ASCOJA Flag.
Digital resources pertaining to the 21st ASCOJA Conference are accessible through the following links: