JUGAS Celebrates 45th Year on Sept 5, 2015

The Japan University Graduates Association of Singapore (JUGAS) celebrates its 45th Foundation Anniversary with a series of activities and programs culminating in a Gala Dinner to be held on September 5, 2015 at the Concorde Hotel in Singapore. The Guest of Honor will be none other than the Immediate-Past Prime Minister of Singapore and Emeritus Senior Minister GOH CHOK TONG.

JUGAS President TAN KAY GUAN who leads the celebration festivities has extended invitations to all ASCOJA Governors, including PHILFEJA President Philip B. Sanvictores. In an email to MR. JIMMY NG, JUGAS Honorary Secretary, Mr. Sanvictores has accepted the invitation of JUGAS for him and his wife Mrs. Patricia Maribel Sanvictores to attend the Gala Dinner in his concurrent capacity as President of PHILFEJA and Chairman of ASCOJA.


ASCOJA Chairman Sanvictores Addresses Japan-ASEAN Youth Conference in Tokyo (Mar 28, 2015)

ASCOJA Chairman, Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores delivered the keynote address for the 1st Japan-ASEAN Youth Conference held last 28 March 2015 at the Hakusan Campus of Toyo University, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo.  The Conference was organized and hosted by the Japan Association for the Promotion of Internationalization (JAPI) 日本国際化推進協会.

Entitled 日本滞在とその後のキャリアーに付いて or “Careers after Japan Studies”, the speech highlighted the responsibilities of current and former foreign students 留学生in Japan to pursue roles of promoting friendship, understanding and mutual respect between peoples, particularly between ASEAN countries and Japan.  Speaking before 500 mostly students, including professors and educators from different parts of Japan, Mr. Sanvictores explained the important role of ASCOJA (ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni) in performing this seminal role (since its establishment in 1977) in interpersonal, people to people relationships.  He also said that the values and objectives of ASCOJA were inspired by the Fukuda Doctrine of “Heart-to-Heart” or 心と心relationships.

(For a copy of his speech and powerpoint material, please click here.)

The other main speaker was Mr. Makio Takemura, President of Toyo University who gave an elaborate presentation on the long-term strategy and near term plans of his university in promoting academic internationalization.

This was followed by a panel discussion composed of the following:

  • Masami Watanabe – Head, Foreign Students Division. MEXT,
  • Masahiro Yokota – Head, International Japanese Department. Meiji University
  • Yohei Shibasaki – CEO. Fourth Valley Concierge Corp.
  • Akio Nakamura – President. BizJapan


The panel of experts engaged students representing the different ASEAN countries on various topics and issues, which eventually narrowed down to constraints that dampen the interest of and hamper the flow of ASEAN students going to Japan to study.  It appears that there is a severe lack of information on programs, scholarships, and other facets relating to Japan studies.  The fluency of the ASEAN ryugakusei in Nihongo and their deep insights on the subject was very impressive.

The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Yukiko Hirai of Selfwing, Inc., while Mr. Masaki Umezu, NHK executive announcer served as the master of ceremonies.

The youthful President of JAPI Mr. Takayasu Omura also announced that effective April 1, 2015, he will be seconded to the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology (MEXT) for a one year assignment to further deepen his knowledge of MEXT and its allied operations relating to foreign students in Japan.

(For a copy of the conference Program, please click here.)


PHILFEJA Delegation at Toyo University

PHILFEJA Delegation at the entrance of Toyo University Hakusan Campus, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo.  (L-R): Mrs. Marilen Laurel-Loinaz, Mrs. Gennie T. Ferma, Mrs. Patricia Maribel C. Sanvictores and Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores (PHILFEJA President and ASCOJA Chairman).

PHILFEJA Delegation with ASCOJA colleagues at Toyo University

PHILFEJA Delegation with ASCOJA colleagues at the entrance of Toyo University Hakusan Campus, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo.  (L-R): Mrs. Bouasone Vongthavone (President – Japan Alumni Organization of Laos), Mrs. Marilen Laurel-Loinaz, Mrs. Gennie T. Ferma, Mrs. Patricia Maribel C. Sanvictores, Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores and Dr. Ooi Cee Keong, President – Japan Graduates Association of Malaysia and ASCOJA Vice-Chairman)

ASJA-ASCOJA attendees at Japan-ASEAN Youth Conference

ASJA-ASCOJA attendees at the 1st Japan-ASEAN Youth Conference.  L-R: Ms. Indri Tohir (PERSADA), unidentified Indonesian alumnus, Ms. Chikako Hagihara (ASJA Secretariat), Mr. Jiro Sato (ASJA Secretary-General), Mrs. Marilen Laurel-Loinaz, Mrs. Patricia Maribel C. Sanvictores, Mrs. Genne T. Ferma (PHILFEJA), Ms. ____ (MAJA) and Dr. Surawut ___ (OJSAT).

JAPI president Takayasu Omura

Mr. Takayasu Omura, President of JAPI giving his Welcome Speech

ASCOJA chairman Philip Sanvictores at conference

ASCOJA Chairman (PHILFEJA President) Philip B. Sanvictores delivering the Keynote Address at the start of the Conference

Toyo University president Makio Takemura

Dr. Makio Takemura, President – Toyo University – presenting the Toyo Global Diamonds Program

Association of Filipino Students in Japan

Representative of the Association of Filipino Students in Japan articulately expressing his opinions, thoughts and views during the Panel Discussion.

Association of Filipino Students in Japan with PHILFEJA Delegation

Members of the Association of Filipino Students in Japan posing with Mr. and Mrs. Philip Sanvictores (center, fifth and sixth from the left, respectively) , Mrs. Genie T. Ferma and Mrs. Marilen Laurel-Loinaz ((fifth and fourth from the right, respectively).


First Japan-ASEAN Youth ConferencePoster of the First Japan-ASEAN Youth Conference 2015.  MEXT Min. Hakubun Shimomura was the other keynote speaker, who unfortunately was unable to make it to the Conference due to an official emergency.

ASJA-ASCOJA Board of Directors/Governors Tokyo, Japan (Mar 27, 2015)

ASJA Directors and ASCOJA Governors. Seated: L-R:: Dr. Chin Way Kay (BAJA), Ms. Bouasone Vonthaphong (JAC), Dr. Samran Chooduangern (OJSAT), Dr. Ngo Minh Thuy (JAV), Dr. Vuthy Monyrath (JAOL), Dr. Si Si Shein (MAJA) – 2015 ASJA International Chairperson, Mr. Philip Sanvictores (PHILFEJA) – ASCOJA Chairman, Dr. Ooi Chee Keong (JAGAM) – ASCOJA Vice-Chairman, Mr. Ismadji Hadisumarto(PERSADA), Dr. Tan Kay Guan (JUGAS), Dr. Tineke Mandang (PERSADA).

 Official delegates and observers. Standing L-R:: Unidentified lady delegates from MAJA,Dr. Phan Trung Nghia and Dr. Nguyen Huyen Trang (JAV), Mr. Yee Jenn En (JUGAS),Secretary-General Jiro Sato (ASJA Int’l), Amb. Takashi Tajima (ASJA Director for Japan), Ms. Marilen Laurel-Loinaz, Ms. Gennie Ferma, Ms. Patricia Maribel Sanvictores (PHILFEJA), Dr. Goh Nge Seung (JAGAM), Dr. Surawut Chuangchote(OJSAT).

PHILFEJA attends 30th ASJA Board Meeting (Mar 27, 2015)

The 30th Meeting of the Board of Directors of Asia Japan Alumni (ASJA) International was held on March 27, 2015 at the 43rd Floor, Moonlight Suite, Keio Plaza Hotel, Shinjuku, Tokyo. PHILFEJA was represented by its President, MR. PHILIP B. SANVICTORES, who serves as the ex-officio Director for the Philippines in the ASJA Board. In 2014, Mr. Sanvictores served as the Acting Chairman of the ASJA Board representing the late BENJAMIN C. LAUREL, who was then the incumbent ASJA Chairman but was unable to attend due to his failing health.

The Directors in attendance were:

  • SI SI SHIEN – ASJA Chairman; Director for Mynamar
  • TAKASHI TAJIMA – Director for Japan
  • TINEKE MANDANG – Director for Indonesia
  • OOK CHEE KEONG – Director for Malaysia
  • PHILIP B. SANVICTORES – Director for the Philippines
  • TAN KAY GUAN – Director for Singapore
  • SAMRAN CHOODUANGERN – Director for Thailand
  • VUTHY MONYRATH – Director for Cambodia
  • NGO MINH THUY – Director for Vietnam
  • BOUASONE VONTHAPHONG – Director for Laos
  • CHIN WEI KEI – Director for Brunei


Also in attendance were:

  • SALENA GOH BEI HONG – wife of Dr. Ooi Chee Keong
  • PATRICIA MARIBEL C. SANVICTORES – wife of Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores
  • MA. ELENA LAUREL-LOINAZ – Project Manager, 21st ASCOJA Conference
  • GLENDA T. FERMA – Deputy Project Manager, 21st ASCOJA Conference
  • YEE JEN EN – Vice-President, JUGAS
  • SURAWUT CHUANGCHOTE – Director for External Affairs, OJSAT
  • MO MO SAN – Secretary-General, MAJA
  • SAN SAN LUIN – Deputy Secretary-General, MAJA
  • MYO KIHN – Vice-President, MAJA
  • MON SU – Vice-President, MAJA
  • TON TON TEH – Member, MAJA
  • PHAN THRUN GIAN – Secretary-General, JAV
  • GUEN FEN THIAN – Deputy Secretary-General, JAV
  • TAN THUY KIM THUEN – Committee Member, JAV


Other attendees were:

  • SHINADA, Director – MOFA


ASJA International Secretariat members in attendance were:

  • JIRO SATO – Secretary-General, ASJA International
  • IWAMOTO – Editor, ASJA International
  • CHIKAKO HAGIHARA – ASJA International Secretariat
  • FURUTA – ASJA International Secretariat
  • ARIMA – ASJA International Secretariat


In total, there were 38 participants in the 30th ASJA International Board Meeting.


The Schedule for the 2-day affair was as follows:

March 26, 2015 (Thursday)

13:00:    Assembly of ASJA Directors at Moonlight Room, 43rd Floor, Keio Plaza Hotel

13:15:    Briefing for the Program by ASJA International

14:00:    Departure from Keio Plaza Hotel for Diet Members Office, Building No. 1

15:00:    Round Table Conference with Diet Members

16:00:    Tour of the National Diet Main Building

17:00:    Return to Keio Plaza Hotel

18:30:    Welcome Dinner hosted by ASJA Secretary-General Mr. Jiro Sato; Comet Room, 43rd Floor, Keio Plaza Hotel


March 27, 2015 (Friday)

09:00:    ASJA International Board Meeting, Moonlight Room, 43rd Floor, Keio Plaza Hotel

12:00:    Lunch, Moonlight Room, 43rd Floor, Keio Plaza Hotel

14:00:    ASCOJA Governors Meeting, Moonlight Room, 43rd Floor, Keio Plaza Hotel

16:30:    ASJA International Graduates Presentation and Completion Ceremony, Comet Room, 43rd Floor, Keio Plaza Hotel

18:30:    Dinner Reception, ASJA International, Starlight Room, 43rd Floor, Keio Plaza Hotel



  1. Proposed Budget for FY2015
    • Plans for FY2015
      • Scholars Intake – 18 graduate students, 5 undergraduate students
      • Total current scholars – 30 students
      • Plans and Programs
        1. Orientation for new scholars
        2. Cultural exchange and networking
        3. Homestay
        4. Sociocultural exposure
        5. Commencement exercises
        6. Research reports
        7. ASJA Newsletter and Homepage
      • ASJA Annual Board of Directors meeting in March 2016
      • Participation in the 21st ASCOJA Conference in the Philippines
      • Assistance for Strengthening the ASCOJA Network
        1. Online Communication Platform
        2. ASCOJA Symposia on Labor and Business
  1. FY2015 Budget
    • Proposed Budget – JPY46,625,000 vs JPY64,869,000 (FY2014)
    • Breakdown of FY2015 Budget
      • Assistance for ASJA Scholars – JPY8,958,471
      • Assistance for ASCOJA / Alumni associations – JPY5,575,970
      • Strengthening ASCOJA Network – JPY27,476,950
      • ASJA Secretariat – JPY20,197,371
      • Audit fee – JPY660,000
      • Total – JPY62,868,762
      • Government Proposal – JPY46,625,000
  1. List of Scholars Accepted for FY2015
    • Indonesia – 2 scholars
    • Malaysia – 2 scholars
    • Philippines – 2 scholars
    • Singapore – 3 scholars
    • Thailand – 2 scholars
    • Myanmar – 3 scholars
    • Cambodia – 3 scholars
    • Vietnam – 2 scholars
    • Laos – 3 scholars
    • Brunei – 1 scholar
  2. Report on ASJA Activities in 2014
    • April 25-26, 2014: Orientation for new ASJA-MEXT Scholars
    • May 9, 2014: Welcome party for new scholars
    • August 1-5, 2014: Tochigi-Ken Homestay
    • August 7-11, 2014: Shizuoka-Ken Homestay
    • August 29-31, 2014: Interaction with Japanese University Students
    • September 2-5, 2014: Fukuoka-Ken Volunteer Work
    • September 9, 2014: Lecture on International Understanding
    • September 27, 2014: ASEAN Festival
    • November 1, 2014: Workshop on Research of Experiences in Japanese Life
    • November 2, 2014: Experiencing Japan Culture
    • November 2, 2014: Orientation for new ASJA-MEXT Scholars (October Intake)
    • December 4-7, 2014: Kyoto Workshop on Life in Japan
    • January 23-25, 2015: ASJA-ASCOJA Consultative Meeting on the 21st ASCOJA Conference and the Proposed ASCOJA Online Communication Platform
    • February 5-6, 2015: Tour of Industrial Japan
    • February 27, 2015: Lecture on International Understanding
    • March 6-8, 2015: Cultural Interaction
    • March 15, 2015: Experiencing Japan Culture
    • March 27, 2015: Commencement Exercises; ASJA Directors Meeting
  3. Guidelines for Selection and Acceptance of Research Students
    • Candidates must understand the purposes of ASJA and commit to participate in its activities and programs
    • In principle, must desire to continue studies towards a masteral degree
    • Study in a school in Tokyo or its suburbs and cities nearby
    • In principle, start in April
    • Undergo 6-months Nihongo Training at the Tokyo Japanese Language Training Center prior to starting work on graduate studies
  4. ASCOJA Online Communication Platform
    • Factors behind the establishment of the ASCOJA Online Platform to be developed and administered by ASJA
    • ASCOJA participation in the development of the platform
    • ASCOJA Committee on the Online Platform Development and Contribution of Content – PHILFEJA, PERSADA, JAGAM, OJSAT, JAV.
  5. ASJA-ASCOJA Symposia Series for FY2015
    • Topics will generally be on Labor and Business Flows
    • Frequency – once every three months; i.e., quarterly
    • Venue – in different ASCOJA countries
    • Budget coverage – travel expenses of participants (1-2 persons per country), venue rental, travel expenses of symposium speaker-expert (1 person per symposium), lecture costs, documentation and report costs
  6. Matters for Decision by the Board of Directors
    • Election of new ASJA Chairman
    • Minutes of the 29th ASJA International Minutes of Meeting
  7. Other matters
    • ASCOJA to conduct pre-departure orientation for all ASJA-MEXT scholars
    • ASJA-MEXT Scholars required to attend the Welcome Party and Orientation to be held on April 25-26 in Tokyo
    • ASJA-MEXT Scholars staying outside Tokyo to bear all transport and lodging expenses to be incurred in attending ASJA Activities
    • Contact details (email address, mobile phone, etc.) to be provided ASJA
    • Students to allow ASJA to use personal information submitted to and provided the MEXT for their respective applications for scholarship

ASJA calls on Japanese Parliamentarians (Mar 26, 2015)

Asia Japan Alumni (ASJA) International arranged a courtesy call/dialogue with ranking Parliamentarians of the National Diet of Japan for its Board of Directors composed of ASCOJA Governors serving ASJA in ex-officio capacities.  The group of Japanese members of Parliament who received the ASJA Directors last March 26, 2015 was led by Assemblyman Yasukazu Hamada, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the ruling LDP and Assemblywoman Toshiko Abe, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.  Assemblyman Tatsuo Fukuda served as the session moderator.

The following members of the National Diet attended the hour-long meeting:

  • Yayoi Kimura
  • Hideki Makihara
  • Keitaro Oono
  • Arata Takebe
  • Jun Tsushima
  • Kenichi Hosoda
  • Aiko Shimajiri
  • Keizo Takemi
  • Kuniko Inoguchi

ASJA calls on Japanese Parliamentarians
Each ASJA Director was allowed a minute of self-introduction.  The Members of Parliament were all visibly impressed as all the Directors spoke in fluent Nihongo.  PHILFEJA President Philip B. Sanvictores, concurrently ASCOJA Chairman informed the Japanese legislators about the forthcoming 21st ASCOJA Conference to be held in Manila.  He talked about the conference theme: “ASCOJA in an Integrated ASEAN”, stressing the relevance of the topic given the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) within the ensuing year 2015.

Accompanying the ASJA/ASCOJA Delegation were ASJA Secretary-General Jiro Sato and ASJA Director for Japan, Amb. Tajima.

After the meeting with the Diet members, the group was given a tour of the National Diet building, a rare opportunity as tours are generally permitted only upon the endorsement of a Member of Parliament.

National Diet Building

The construction of the Diet building was completed in November 1936 which took 17 years from 1920.  It is located on a 10-hectare property in Nagatacho across the Imperial Palace grounds.  It has a floor area of 53,464 square meters with its central tower rising 65 meters to the top.

A Diet guard escorted the group to the public areas.  Along the route, it is easy to observe the elegance, the royal ambience, the architecture heavily influenced by European classical and baroque lines.  Diet trivia interspersed the introductions to each room, corridor and hall.  The red carpet that line the corridors and staircases run over 4 kilometers; the Central Gate is opened only when the Emperor enters the Diet; there is an Emperor’s Room for the exclusive use of  His Majesty the Emperor, as there are three balconies overlooking the man chamber.  All materials and structures in the edifice were made locally except for three items – the antiquated postal system made by Cutler of the US, the locks on all the doors (also made in the US since Japan did not yet have the technology for making master keys at that time), and the stained glass over the main chamber which was made in and imported from the U.K.  The columns lining the central section of the building are made of marble from Okinawa which still bear fossil crevices, a unique feature décor of the Diet building.

No photos are allowed inside the complex, except in the meeting room where the ASJA-ASCOJA group was received.  Tour guides were quick to restrain any form of digital recording while inside the premises.  A photo session was however allowed outside, with the iconic Diet building blocking the looming sunset.



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