PHILJEC Adviser Mr. Feliciano Torres Conferred Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon

Ambassador Koji Haneda on behalf of His Majesty the Emperor of Japan conferred upon PHILJEC Adviser and PJS Medal of Merit Awardee, Mr. Feliciano Torres, The Order of the Rising Sun with Neck Ribbon in an awarding reception held on January 10, 2019 at the Japanese Ambassador’s Residence. The Imperial Award was given in recognition of Mr. Torres’ valuable contributions to Japan’s economy and automobile industry being the President of Yazaki Torres Corporation, the country’s number one exporter of automotive parts for more than three decades.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Torres expressed his gratitude to the people and organizations whom he has worked with throughout the years. These included the Late Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III, Mr. Gregorio Uy Lim of UE Automotive, and his father and role model, Mr. Antonio T. Torres.

Mr. Torres also emphasized that for 45 years, Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing has maintained industrial peace by being fair to its people. “When I am asked what is the strength that leads to success, my answer is always this—the discipline, determination, and unity of our company’s human capital—our people,” Mr. Torres said. “In this light, to be conferred The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, among many deserving, is a milestone not just for myself or our companies, but for our employees, our partners and for all of us that strive to cultivate and strengthen Philippine-Japan relations.”

In his speech, Ambassador Haneda praised the personal philosophy of Mr. Torres—his belief in kokoro to kokoro no fureai or heart-to-heart relationship founded on mutual trust and respect. He also mentioned the vital role Mr. Torres had in crafting the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA). “Mr. Torres viewed JPEPA as a vital economic measure for Japan and the Philippines to rev up our cooperation and open a wide range of opportunities that would ultimately cascade to our industries. True enough, his steadfast commitment to this cause still redounds to the dynamic exchanges being enjoyed by our automobile sectors to this day,” said the Ambassador.

From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Torres served as Chairman of PHILJEC and led dialogues on economic, cultural, and business development between Japan and the Philippines. He led and represented the position of the automobile industry of the Philippines during the crafting and development of the JPEPA.

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PJS Holds 41st Friendship Golf Tournament with Highest Number of Players and First All-Ladies Team

Held on February 20, 2019 at The Country Club in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, this year’s 41st PJS Friendship Golf Tournament recorded its highest number of players—80 to be exact—and its first all-ladies team making it an extra special and historical event. The players started arriving as early 5 a.m. to register and prepare for the tournament, which opened with a ceremonial group photo taking before players headed to their respective holes.

“All 72 planned slots were filled up as early as 2nd week of January, which resulted to the Golf Committee opening additional slots to accommodate the strong demand to participate in the tournament,” explained Mr. Joseph Uy, PJS Golf Committee Chairman. “It is also our first year to have an all-ladies team. We usually average only 25 to 30 players all men players in the past,” he added. This year’s all-ladies team was composed of May Uy (Sinag Solutions, Inc.); Hiromi Shimoda (BDO Unibank, Inc.); Masumi Tago (Marubeni Philippines); and Yuko Iyori (Embassy of Japan).

The tournament format was a Scramble (Best Ball) honesty game made up of four-man teams with at least one Filipino or one Japanese member. Each team played alone with no one checking Team scores. Special tournament rules and regulations made the tournament exciting and special strategies required the team to study their individual member’s strengths and weaknesses in order to get the best team scores.  Overall, cooperation between all team members was required to win.

Team 18 under the leadership of team captain, Amon Rivera, was declared overall champion with a net 68 which included an eagle on the par 5 Hole Number 10. Team 10B of Fumihiko Harada was the 1st Runner-up with a net score of 69 followed by the 2nd Runner-up team 10A led by Roberto Anonas, Jr. with a score of net 70.  

Fun Hole prizes were also awarded during the tournament:

  • Longest Drive: Hole #2 – Ishikawa Toshiyuki, 253 yards
  • Longest Drive: Hole #8 – Nobuyuki Ariyoshi, 275 yards
  • Nearest to the Pin: Hole #11 – Fumihiko Harada, 137 inches
  • Nearest to the Pin: Hole #6 – Masahiro Makino, 26 cm

For detailed results and photos of the event, refer to our Resources.


Fukuda Doctrine Commemorative Marker Unveiled at Manila Hotel

In celebration of the 40th year of the Fukuda Doctrine, representatives from Japan and ASEAN gathered at the Manila Hotel on October 1, 2018 to witness the unveiling of the Doctrine’s Commemorative Marker spearheaded by The Philippines-Japan Society. After the unveiling, a symposium was also held at the Fiesta Pavilion where the Doctrine was first pronounced by the late Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda on August 18, 1977.

Former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, son of PM Takeo Fukuda, was present to personally lead the unveiling ceremony. He was accompanied by other special guests: Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda, Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea, Philippines-Japan Society President Francis C. Laurel, Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs Jose Luis G. Montales, and Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose C. Laurel V.  

Speakers for the symposium that morning were Dr. Ginandjar Kartasasmita, Chairman of the Indonesia-Japan Friendship Association; Ambassador Delia D. Albert, former Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines; and Dr. Mie Oba, Professor of Tokyo University of Science. Dr. Kartasasmita presented a historical perspective on the Fukuda Doctrine while Amb. Albert talked about ASEAN-Japan-Philippines Relations, and Dr. Oba gave insights on the future relations between ASEAN and Japan.

Since its pronouncement in 1977, The Fukuda Doctrine has served as the blueprint for Japan’s foreign policy towards ASEAN. It has 3 key principles:

  • Japan is committed to peace and rejects the role of a military power;
  • Japan will consolidate the relationship of mutual confidence and trust based on “heart-to-heart” understanding among peoples of Japan and Southeast Asia; and,
  • Japan will cooperate positively with ASEAN [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] while aiming to foster a relationship based on mutual understanding with the countries of Indochina and will thus contribute to the building of peace and prosperity throughout Southeast Asia.

The Fukuda Doctrine Commemorative Marker was designed at the instance of The Philippines-Japan Society by Filipino scholars of the Japanese Government studying at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños.

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PJS to Co-host Symposium on the Fukuda Doctrine & Installation of Commemorative Marker

The Philippines-Japan Society will co-host together with The Embassy of Japan in Manila a Symposium on the Fukuda Doctrine on October 1, 2018 at the Manila Hotel. The Symposium is envisioned to be a forum for reflecting the past, present, and future ASEAN-Japan partnership and the contribution of the Fukuda Doctrine thereto.

Also highlighting the event is the installation of a commemorative marker in the Manila Hotel, where the Fukuda Doctrine was first pronounced by then Prime Minister of Japan, Takeo Fukuda, in August 18, 1977. The doctrine serves as a guiding principle of Japan’s foreign policy towards the ASEAN and has positively impacted ASEAN-Japan relations in the past four decades. Last year, PJS met with PM Fukuda’s son, Yasuo, himself a former Prime Minister of Japan, on the significance of the doctrine.

The Symposium will feature prominent speakers who will share thoughts and insights into the foundations, the current state and the future prospects of ASEAN-Japan relations through the prism of the Fukuda Doctrine.


Tomas I. Alcantara is 40th Philippines-Japan Society Medal of Merit Awardee

The 40th Philippines-Japan Friendship Celebration Awards Night was held on July 30, 2018 at New World Hotel in Makati City where Mr. Tomas I. Alcantara, Chairman and President of Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc., was conferred the 40th Philippines-Japan Society Medal of Merit.  

The Alsons Group was founded in the mid-1950s by Mr. Alcantara’s father, a pioneering businessman who had a vision of tapping the rich natural resources of Mindanao. The group has since grown into a diversified conglomerate that is heavily invested in energy, power generation, property development, agribusiness, aquaculture, information technology and allied industries – mostly operating in Mindanao. The group has been and continues to be a reliable and durable business partner of many major Japanese corporations.

A prominent business leader in his own right, Mr. Alcantara has also served in the Government as Undersecretary of Trade & Industry from 1986 to 1995 where he headed the Industry and Investments Group and was Managing Head of the Board of Investments. In 1996, Mr. Alcantara was designated Ambassador – Special Envoy of the President of the Republic of the Philippines for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) which the Philippines hosted in 1996. He currently serves as the Chairman of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Philippines, having been appointed as member last December 2016 and elected January 2017.

Read the full Citation of the Medal of Merit presented to  Mr. Alcantara here.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Alcantara expressed his surprise at receiving the award and how honored he felt to join the prestigious roster of Medal of Merit awardees. He also confirmed continued support and interest in Japan and in strengthening both business and cultural ties between the two countries:

“My exposure to the ways of the Japanese in the areas of culture, business, the country and the food came from my father and the Japanese business associates whom he dealt with in Davao in the mid-fifties.  Then, and until now, our Group’s business association with Japan continues to flourish and have, in fact, expanded by many multiples.”

“Japanese companies are certainly not strangers to the region, having played a pivotal role early on in the economic development of the island.  Mindanao currently has several partnerships between Japanese and local business groups. Rest assured, that I will remain committed to ensuring that the mutually-beneficial partnership between our two countries continues into the next decade and beyond.”

“Again, I go back to this award that has been bestowed upon me in your presence this evening.  I feel much honored, and even more honored in the thought that I join a very prestigious list of awardees that have come before me.  Being in the same list of esteemed personalities as former prime ministers, ambassadors, high ranking government officials and pillars of business in both countries can indeed be intimidating and a humbling experience.”

Read the full Acceptance Speech of Mr. Alcantara here.

PJS President Francis C. Laurel, gave the opening remarks for the evening. Ambassador Makoto Katsura, President of The Philippine Society of Japan, and H.E. Koji Haneda, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Philippines also spoke at the event.

Musical numbers were rendered by “Harmonya:  The String Ensemble of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, The Philippines-Japan Ladies Chorale, and the UPTUGMA Koto Ensemble from the University of the Philippines Diliman.

¹The Philippines-Japan Medal of Merit is conferred annually to Filipino or Japanese nationals who have distinguished themselves in the promotion of friendship, trust, understanding, goodwill, mutual respect and shared benefits. See list of Medal of Merit awardees.

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