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)


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

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.



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
Dinner at Malacañang Palace
Photo Album

PHILJEC and PJS Host Reception for New BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla, Jr.

The Philippines Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJEC) and The Philippines Japan Society (PJS) hosted a cocktail reception on July 10, 2017 for new BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr.. Governor Espenilla was a Monbusho Scholar of the Japanese Government from 1986-1988 for his Master in Policy Science degree from Japan’s premier National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS).

Japan’s Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Kazuhide Ishikawa and Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun Awardee, former Philippine Prime Minister Cesar Virata graced the reception held at the Mayuree 2 Ballroom, Dusit Hotel, Makati City.

PHILJEC Chairman Aniceto G. Saludo and PJS President Francis C. Laurel led their respective organizations during the reception. PHILJEC Co-Chairman Edwin Umali, Co-Chairman Gerry Sanvictores, and PHILJEC Secretary General and PJS Trustee JJ Soriano (also from GRIPS) were also present.

In his speech titled, “The Philippines and Japan: Enhancing Strategic Partnership”, Gov. Espenilla recalled his experiences and insights as a Monbusho scholar 31 years ago.

“What a different world it was in 1986!” exclaimed the Governor. “Yet, despite all these vast changes, the Philippines-Japan Society has been unwavering in its commitment to foster closer ties between our nations – even as early as 1972, when it was formally established! I likewise commend the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee for its steadfast initiatives to promote closer economic ties between the Philippines and Japan.”

Another insight Gov. Espenilla shared was his observation about Japanese culture and how it emphasizes cultivating a sense of self vis-à-vis others and society. “I believe this emphasis on harmony and collaboration accounts for our countries’ long-standing relationship. Cooperation between our nations has paved the way for the advancement of our economic and trade relations.”


Under his term as BSP Governor, Gov. Espenilla said that he would ensure that an enabling monetary and financial environment is maintained to achieve the country’s growth objectives, while safeguarding price and financial stability.  He also talked about the increasing presence of foreign banks, in particular 5 Japan-based banks in the Philippines and how this would facilitate the flow of investments, promote trade, support business expansion, and encourage technology transfers, that may lead to more job creation and more productive output. Against this backdrop, Japanese investors in the country can look forward to expanded opportunities for growth and investments.   


Read the full speech of Gov. Espenilla here.

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


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

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