PJS & PHILJEC Hold Welcome Dinner for Ambassador & Madame Koji Haneda

PJS & PHILJEC organized a welcome dinner reception in honor of new Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Mr. Koji Haneda and spouse on December 18, 2017 at the New World Hotel, Makati City. The event also served as the Christmas party for members and officers of both organizations.

PJS President Mr. Francis M. Laurel welcomed Ambassador Haneda and guests with his opening greetings and toast while PHILJEC Corporate Secretary, Mr. JJ Soriano took on the role as emcee for the evening. More than 70 distinguished guests attended the dinner including former Philippine Prime Minister and Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun awardee Mr. Cesar Virata and former Amb. Benjamin F. Sanvictores, Executive Trustee of The Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation (PJFF).

In his speech, Ambassador Haneda expressed his gratitude and intention to work closely with the Philippine Government and different organizations related to strengthening PH-Japan relations:

“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Philippines-Japan Society, and the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee for hosting this welcome dinner reception. It gives me a chance to meet your members who have worked tirelessly to strengthen the relationship between our two countries over the years.”

“I believe the core strength of our countries’ relationship lies in our people. It lies in you. Your presence here tonight reflects how much we can achieve when we work together. I am therefore determined to do my best and to work closely with the Philippine government, and institutions such as PJS and PHILJEC, during my stay here as Ambassador.”

Ambassador Haneda arrived in Manila on October 14, 2017. He started his diplomatic career in Manila in the early 1980s and thus referred to himself as a “Balikbayan” and expressed his delight for being in the Philippines again.

The Ambassador, in a statement, also pledged to work hard on promoting and the strategic partnership and friendly ties between the Philippines and Japan:

“It is my honor and privilege to be assigned as Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines. Indeed, I started my diplomatic career in Manila in the early 1980’s. Being a Balikbayan, I’m delighted to be here once again.

Under the strategic partnership, our bilateral relations have evolved to a significant level, as represented by the state visit of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress in January 2016 and other frequent mutual visits of our leaders. Through the years, our partnership has achieved tangible outcomes in many areas, including infrastructure projects on an unprecedented scale, capacity building in counter-terrorism and maritime security, defense cooperation, and continued commitment of support to the Mindanao peace process. I am also pleased to see ever-growing people-to-people exchange between the Philippines and Japan in every field and level.

Building upon the past achievements, I pledge to exert every effort to further advance the strategic partnership and the friendship between our two countries. Maraming salamat po.” (source: Embassy of Japan in the Philippines http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/itpr_ja/00_000381.html)

Resources:

H.E. Haneda Welcome Dinner Photo Album
H.E. Haneda PJS Welcome Dinner Speech


PHILFEJA held 2018 Shinnenkai

The Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) held its Annual Shinnenkai at the AIM Conference Center on the 3 rd of February 2018 from 2:00-5:30 PM. This is an annual undertaking of PHILFEJA to gather officers, active members and Japanese friends of the Federation for a get-together at the start of the year to renew ties and rekindle friendship with one another.

After the special introduction of Mrs. Cecilia Tolentino, Secretary-General of PHILFEJA, the guests including the many distinguished alumni present, the Presidents of the affiliate Associations gave their respective Welcome Greetings: Dr. Danilo Tuazon for PHILAJAMES, Mr. Domingo Go for APPAJU, Mr. Brando Barrantes for PHILCULTAROS and Mr. Philip Sanvictores for SAPILNIP. In the absence of JAAP President, Atty. Powell del Rosario, Ms. Maria Dionne Cruz gave the greetings for the Association. Special Greetings were also given by Mr. Ken Nakamura, Director of the Japan Information and Cultural Center of the Embassy of Japan and Mr. Hiroaki Uesugi, Director of The Japan Foundation, Manila. Before the Merienda and Fellowship, Ms. Lavi Peñaverde reported on the TYCA 2017 (Toshiba Youth Club Asia) while Ms. Zony Yoshii reported and showed videos of the 2017 NIYE (National Institute for Youth Education) Program.

The presence of Mr. Takashi Ishihara, Director of JETRO, and Mr. Toshiyuki Taguchi, Special Asst. on Scholarships of JICC, were also acknowledged by the Master of Ceremonies, Ms. Lavi Peñaverde.

 

Resources:
Photo Album


PHILJEC, JPECC Welcome Guests to 36th Joint Meeting with Focus on “Build, Build, Build”

Members of Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee, Inc. (PHILJEC) and its counterpart, Japan-Philippines Economic Cooperation Committee (JPECC) convened last February 22, 2018 for their 36th joint meeting held at the New World Hotel in Makati City. This year’s meeting focused on the theme “Build, Build, Build: The Duterte Administration’s Infrastructure Plan for Sustainable Growth” and had top-level diplomats, representatives from the Japanese business community, and Filipino industry leaders as speakers and attendees.

PHILJEC and JPECC Chairmen Atty. Aniceto G. Saludo, Jr. and Mr. Teruo Asada respectively welcomed the participants with their opening remarks, both stating that the two countries are in a “Golden Age of Partnership”. In their speeches, the two chairmen emphasized the much-needed infrastructure projects such as the first major subway in Metro Manila and other railway projects in South and North Luzon and how the cooperation and strong political will in completing these projects will surely sustain Philippine economic growth and revitalize Japan’s economy as well.

Philippine Ambassador to Japan, Jose C. Laurel V, read the congratulatory message from President Rodrigo Duterte, while Ambassador Koji Haneda read that of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Excerpt from President Duterte’s Message:

Japan has been among our country’s largest investors and trading partners while Philippine companies and workers have likewise contributed to the dynamism and vibrancy of the Japanese economy.

I look forward to this joint meeting, as it will not only have the potential of expanding cooperation to other emerging sectors, but will also serve as a lynchpin for greater stability and peace within our region (read full message).

Excerpt from Prime Minister Abe’s Message:

Top-level diplomatic and bilateral Japan-Philippines relations have never been as close and vibrant as they are today.  I sincerely welcome the development of various infrastructure facilities in the Philippines through the “Build, Build, Build” policy spearheaded by the Duterte Administration. Japan will continue to contribute vigorously towards the improvement of Philippine infrastructure in order to boost it up to even higher.

I congratulate PHILJEC and JPECC for holding today’s meeting and hope that you will have a most fruitful and productive conference leading to even deeper Japan-Philippines economic relations (read full message).

Also present to give the keynote address was National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia and Special Guest Speaker, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade who entertained questions regarding the implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” Program.

For this year’s meeting, two plenary sessions were held featuring presentations from significant players in the infrastructure projects. BDO Capital and Investment Corporation President, Mr. Eduardo V. Francisco and JICA Philippines Chief Representative, Mr. Susumu Ito discussed the financial aspects in the first plenary session. This included details about funding sources both from Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) and from the local private sector.

In the second plenary session, presentations from various corporations and their participation in the ““Build, Build, Build” Program were presented. Speakers included CEOs, General Managers, and Chairmen from multinational companies in both the construction and transportation industries:

  • Mr. ROBERTO JOSE L. CASTILLO, President and CEO, EEI Corporation
  • Mr. MITSUHIKO SHIMIZU, General Manager, Hitachi Asia Ltd. Philippine Branch
  • Mr. SATOSHI KATO, President, Chodai Philippines Corporation
  • Mr. MASARU ONISHI, Chairman, Director, Japan Airlines
  • Mr. MANUEL V. PANGILINAN, Chairman, Metro Pacific Group

To view all related presentations and speeches from the 36th PHILJEC-JPECC meeting, please refer to our “Resources” below.

 

Resources:

Final Program: 36th PHILJEC-JPECC Meeting
President Duterte Congratulatory Message
PM Abe Congratulatory Message
PHILJEC Chairman Atty. Aniceto G. Saludo, Jr. Welcome Remarks
JPECC Chairman Mr. Teruo Asada Welcome Remarks
Plenary Session Presentations
Newspaper Print Ad


PJLA Holds Shinnenkai & Welcome Party for Madame Ihoko Haneda

Members of PJLA welcomed 2018 with a colorful “Shinnenkai” or New Year’s party on January 17 held at the Milky Way Café in Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. This year’s gathering had a special welcome for Madame Ihoko Haneda, wife of Mr. Koji Haneda who is the new Ambassador of Japan to the Philippines.

Mrs. Ma. Elena Laurel-Loinaz, PJLA President, welcomed the guests and members with her opening remarks and presented a bouquet of flowers to Madame Haneda, which was followed by the Ambassador’s wife’s brief acknowledgement message.

“I’m so honored and thank you for your warm welcome. I’m so happy. Thirty-five years ago, I was here, so we are balikbayans,” explained Mrs. Haneda. She added, “Our first country of assignment was Manila, so this is a very memorable country for Koji and me. I look forward to seeing you many times in the near future.”

The Shinnenkai party started around 2 p.m. and wrapped up around 4 p.m. after snacks and fellowship. It also served as the birthday celebration for several PJLA members who had their birthdays in November and December 2017, and January 2018.

 

Related Resources:
PJLA Shinnenkai 2018 Photo Album
PJLA Shinnenkai 2018 Video


NCF President Philip B. Sanvictores, Conferred Imperial Decoration “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette”

The Government of Japan conferred upon NCF President, Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, the Imperial Decoration, The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in fitting ceremonies held last February 9, 2018 at the official residence of H.E. Koji Haneda, Ambassador of Japan in the Philippines. The prestigious decoration recognizes Mr. Sanvictores’ decades-long efforts in furthering good relations between Japan and the Philippines through his work for the Nihongo Center Foundation (NCF), the Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture (PIJLC) and the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA).

Following the footsteps of his father – Ambassador Benjamin F. Sanvictores who was also conferred The Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon in 1985 – Mr. Sanvictores dedicated his decoration to the faculty and staff of NCF and
PIJLC and to the members of PHILFEJA.

“This Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, truly belongs to the loyal and hardworking Nihongo sensei of PIJLC and the Nihongo Center. It also belongs to many fellow-former Filipino ryugakusei who actively support and participate in the activities of PHILFEJA, established 41 years ago to help promote Philippines-Japan and ASEAN-Japan relations,” said Mr. Sanvictores in his acceptance speech.

He also honored people who helped and guided him throughout his days as a ryugakusei in Japan and expressed his gratitude to those who continue to support him in his endeavors as a businessman and leader of various associations affiliated with the Philippines-Japan Society.

At the close of his message, Mr. Sanvictores spoke about his wish for the future of Philippines-Japan relations:

“Today, I invoke the same prayer – that generations after us would catch the fire that drives this advocacy for close, friendly, mutually beneficial Philippines-Japan relations, and to keep that fire burning well into and beyond their times. I hope that we in the various organizations of the Philippines-Japan Society will live up and be equal to the honor your Government has conferred upon us. And most importantly, may our shared advocacy of closer, friendlier, more mutually beneficial relations between our two peoples always bring honor and glory to God.”

To read the full acceptance speech of Mr. Sanvictores, please refer to “Resources” below.

Promoting Japanese Language & Culture in the Philippines

Mr. Sanvictores went to Japan in 1981 to study Nihongo under the 10-month Intensive Japanese Language course of Kokusai Gakuyu Kai, now known as the Tokyo Japanese Language Education Center.

In 1990, upon the instructions of Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III, Mr. Sanvictores submitted an application with the Japan Foundation for a grant to dispatch a Japanese Language Teacher, who then sent Prof. Kenjiro Ogata. Even after the expiry of the said grant, Prof. Ogata remained in the Philippines and continue his work as Academic Advisor to both NCF and PIJLC, inspired by the noble and lofty ideals of Amb. Laurel for better understanding and closer friendship between Filipinos and Japanese through Nihongo.

The Japan Foundation grant underpinned the establishment of the Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture (PIJLC) in 1991 under the patronage of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation (PJFF). In 1997, in response to an appeal by the Government of Japan, PJFF founded the Nihongo Center Foundation (NCF) to continue the work and practice of the erstwhile “Nihongo Gakko” of the Japan Information & Cultural Center.

In 2014-2016, Mr. Sanvictores served as President of PHILFEJA, the umbrella organization of the different groups of former Filipino students in Japan. In 2015, under his leadership, PHILFEJA hosted the 21st Conference of the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA).  In January 2016, during the state visit to the Philippines of Their Majesties, the Emperor and Empress of Japan, Mr. Sanvictores played a key role in organizing the meeting of Filipino former students and Japanese government scholars with Their Majesties, which was an integral part of the visit.

To read about Mr. Sanvictores’ personal account of Their Majesties State Visit, click here: An Imperial Encounter

 

About The Order of the Rising Sun

Established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji, The Order of the Rising Sun is the third highest order bestowed by the Japanese Government to people who have made distinguished achievements in the fields of International Relations, Promotion of Japanese Culture, advancement in their field, development in welfare, and preservation of the environment.

 

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Resources:

Speech of Ambassador Koji Haneda
Acceptance Speech by Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores
Conferment Ceremony Photos


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