Inauguration of Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III Executive Room

PJFF inaugurated the Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III Executive room last October 3, 2019 after working closely with the late ambassador’s family. The room showcases carefully curated memorabilia from the decades the ambassador devoted to building mutual ties between the Philippines and Japan.

Present during the inauguration were Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, Koji Haneda, and Mr. Francis C. Laurel, Executive Trustee of PJFF. Amb. Jose C. Laurel V, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to Japan led the inaugural ribbon cutting.



Photo Album

Honoring Jose S. Laurel III—a Filipino Samurai—in New Book by Historian Dr. Rico Trota-Jose

The world knows the samurai as Japan’s warrior class who strictly followed the Bushido—a code of ethics characterized by loyalty, self-discipline, respectability, dignity, chivalry, valor, courage and honor. But there is a Filipino samurai who held true to these virtues and whose life is now chronicled in the new book “Filipino Samurai: The Life and Times of Jose S. Laurel III.”

The book—a work of love by Ambassador Laurel III’s children and written by renowned historian Dr. Rico Trota-Jose—was launched last August 27, 2019 at the Manila Polo Club, Forbes Park, Makati City. Mr. Antonio C. Laurel, the eldest son of Ambassador Laurel III, welcomed guests with his opening remarks followed by a message from Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose C. Laurel V. 

The afternoon’s emcee, PIJLC & NCF President, Mr. Philip B. Sanvictores, shared the message on behalf of his father, Ambassador Benjamin F. Sanvictores, and Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda gave a toast during the event. Dr. Rico Trota-Jose also graced the event and intimated some of his experiences while writing the book. 

PJS President, Mr. Francis C. Laurel, delivered his closing remarks to wrap up the momentous occasion. This was followed by a serenade of songs by Mr. Cocoy Laurel. 

Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III had a long-standing relationship with Japan and the Japanese people. He lived and studied in Japan for several years and eventually served as the Philippine Ambassador to Japan from 1966 to 1971. To the community of former Filipino students in Japan, Ambassador Laurel III is affectionately referred to as “Dai Dai Senpai” who established The Philippines-Japan Society and The Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation and endeavored towards his lifelong advocacy of strengthening friendly relations between Filipinos and Japanese based on the principles of equality, mutual respect, and better understanding.


“Filipino Samurai: The Life and Times of Jose S. Laurel III” is only available for purchase at the PJFF office, 6th floor, Electra House Building, 115-117 Esteban Street Legaspi Village, Makati City. We only accept check payments payable to TERCERO REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION. Strictly no cash payment.  

For inquiries, please call Frei A. Tan of PJFF at 02 892 4916 or 0917 596 2931.

JSL Book Launching Video
Book Cover
Event Photo Gallery

PJFF, NCF, & PIJLC Celebrate Christmas 2017

PJFF, NCF, & PIJLC celebrated their joint Christmas Party on December 22, 2017 at their head office in Arnaiz Avenue, Makati City. Officers, staff, and faculty members together with their families attended the holiday get together, which started around 11 a.m. with warm Christmas greetings from PJFF Treasurer, Mrs. Ma. Elena Loinaz.

NCF Administrative Assistant, Ms. Donjie Reyes, and NCF teacher, Vianca Ramirez-Sensei handled several fun and engaging team-building games before the Christmas lunch and another set of games and raffles in the afternoon. Prizes for the Christmas raffle included home appliances and grocery packs sponsored by business partners and friends of the organizations.

Newly hired staff of NCF and teacher trainees also sang Christmas songs as part of their intermission performances before proceeding with the exchange gift portion of the party. A photo session for all attendees was also done towards the end of the afternoon affair.

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PJFF Chairman Joey Laurel Is New PH Ambassador to Japan

Deferentially addressed as “Governor” – he was Provincial Governor of Batangas from 1980 to 1988 – Jose “Joey” C. Laurel V is also an accomplished business executive and acclaimed civic leader, with extensive involvement in Japanese affairs and relations.  

On September 16, 2016 President Rodrigo R. Duterte appointed Governor “Joey” to be the Philippines’ Ambassador to Japan, then asked him, as Ambassador-designate, to be part of the Presidential Delegation when he made his first State Visit to Japan on October 25-27, 2106. Then, on December 7, 2016, the bi-cameral Commission on Appointments speedily and unanimously confirmed his appointment and on April 5, 2017, he officially began his tenure as Philippine Ambassador-designate to Japan.

On June 9, 2017, H.E. Jose C. Laurel V presented his credentials as the Philippine Ambassador to Japan to His Majesty Emperor Akihito, in formal rites held at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

The official photo of Ambassador Laurel V presenting his credentials to the Emperor is a poignant image of a life journey destined towards a pivotal role in Philippines-Japan relations. It marks a new milestone in the generations-long association of the Laurel Family with Japan.  

The new Ambassador first set foot in Japan as a toddler when the Laurel family was exiled to Nara as Japanese forces were retreating from the Philippines.  A grandson of Jose P. Laurel, President of the Second Philippine Republic (1943-1945), he and his elder brother Tony had to be brought to Japan by their parents, Jose III and Beatriz (Betty) with the rest of the Laurel family as innocent exiles.  Joey was not even 2-years old.  

Some twenty years thereafter, in 1965, his father was designated Philippine Ambassador to Japan who served until 1971.  Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III, the quintessential Filipino diplomat to Japan, lived an extraordinary life deeply immersed in Japan and its people: he was the only Filipino and one of just a few foreigners to graduate from the elite Japanese Imperial Military Academy (陸軍士官学校) in 1937; a Filipino patriot who served before, during and after the war with his own life; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Philippines to Japan; founder and principal architect of the Philippines-Japan Society and its network of organizations dedicated to the promotion of  peace, friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and Japan.  

It was therefore natural for the children of Ambassador Laurel III to gravitate towards Philippines-Japan affairs, themselves becoming active advocates of the principles and aspirations of their father. Following the footsteps of his illustrious father as Philippine Ambassador to Japan, the first son called to serve in the same post as his father, Ambassador Joey Laurel is not only eminently qualified and extensively connected in Japanese business and official circles, perhaps most importantly, he is now a lead bearer of his forebears’ unsullied reputation and, especially that of his father, Jose III, in Japan.

On his own, Ambassador Laurel V has gained prominence in the country’s business and civic circles.  He has held top management positions in many large companies, including among others, Toyota Batangas City, Inc., YKK Philippines, Transworld Trading Co., Inc., Philippine Petrochemical Products, Asian Chemical Corporation, and the Lyceum Press.  Besides his Chairmanship of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation, he is an Adviser to the Philippines-Japan Society, Trustee of the Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture and the Nihongo Center Foundation, former Chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (Batangas Chapter), and was a member of the Rotary Club and Lions Club of Batangas, Knights of Rizal and Manila Jaycees Senate.

Ambassador Laurel V obtained two degrees from the De La Salle University, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Salutatorian) and Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies.  He completed is Masters in Business Administration also at the De La Salle University and is a Master of Graphic Arts under the Dai Nippon Printing Group, Tokyo, Japan.  

At the onset of his Ambassadorship, he said, “My role in Japan is to continuously improve closer relationships with the Japanese, not necessarily お金だけ(okane dake)’ but real 心と心(kokoro to kokoro)’ understanding,”. Already a public servant in his younger days (as Governor of Batangas), Ambassador Laurel V is the latest member of the famed Laurel family to continue their legacy of service to God, country and people:


  • Jose P. Laurel – President of the Second Philippine Republic (1943-1945); jurist, nationalist, patriot
  • Jose B. Laurel, Jr. – Speaker of the House of Representatives (1967-1971)
  • Jose S. Laurel, III – Philippine Ambassador to Japan (1966-1971); founder and President Emeritus, The Philippines-Japan Society and its affiliate organizations
  • Sotero H. Laurel – Senator of the Republic of the Philippines (1987-992); educator
  • Salvador H. Laurel – Senator; Vice-President of the Republic of the Philippines (1986-1992)
  • Jose Macario B. Laurel IV – Ambassador to Brazil
  • Beatriz Castillo-Laurel† – Founding President, Philippines-Japan Ladies Association; member, Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation
  • Francis C. Laurel – President, Philippines-Japan Society; former Chairman, Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee (PHILJEC); Regent – University of the Philippines; businessman
  • Benjamin C. Laurel – President, Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA); Governor & Chairman ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA); Chairman, Asia Japan Alumni (ASJA) International

As Philippines-Japan relations chart an even closer, friendlier strategic partnership in all aspects of geopolitics, trade, investments, security, culture and arts, people-to-people exchange, Ambassador Jose “Joey” C. Laurel V – along with the professional corps comprising the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo – faces the enormous challenge of serving as the country’s top diplomat in Japan, and lead bilateral efforts in bringing the two countries’ durable relations to the next higher level.  



Related Resources:

Amb. Jose Laurel V – photos

Amb. Jose Laurel V – Official CV

JFMO 20th Anniversary Series:
Suki Features Amb. Benjamin Sanvictores’ “Still Travelling After a 73-Year Journey”


Since its establishment in June 1996, the Japan Foundation Manila Office (JFMO) has remained true to its mandate of fostering friendship and promoting stronger cultural ties between Japan and the Philippines.

This year, JFMO marks its 20th anniversary, which fortuitously coincides with the 60 years of Philippines-Japan Friendship. And so, there had been major gatherings and special events since June 18 when the foundation formally celebrated its 20 years in the country.

But perhaps, among all the grand activities and painstakingly planned events and programs surrounding JFMO’s 20th Year celebration, the most insightful and inspiring would be its collection of essays written by colleagues, students, and friends of the foundation and published on its newsletter, Suki.

In its October Issue, Suki featured the story of Amb. Benjamin F. Sanvictores, Executive Trustee of The Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation.

Reflective and lyrical, Amb. Sanvictores’ essay recalls his personal experience as an impetuous 15-year-old who joins a select group of young Filipino students bound for Japan during the height of World War II. He narrates, through his rich store of anecdotes, how his seemingly dangerous decision to live in the land of the “enemy” turned out to be a destined journey that gave him the privilege to work towards developing and maintaining the friendly Philippines-Japan relations that peoples of the two countries enjoy today.

Following is the full article of Amb. Sanvictores entitled “Still Travelling After a 73-Year Journey” as it was published on Suki and his Congratulatory Message delivered at JFMO’s 20th Anniversary Celebration:

Article and photos courtesy of Suki and The Japan Foundation Manila Office.

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