PHILJEC & PJS Members Attend 45th ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting in Tokyo

Headed by Mr. Gerard B. Sanvictores, the Chairman of the Philippines-Japan Economic Cooperation Committee, Inc., PHILJEC and PJS delegates attended the 45th ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting held at The Imperial Hotel, Tokyo from December 12 to 14, 2019. This year’s meeting, hosted by the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), focused on the theme “New Reality and Opportunity for ASEAN and Japan in the Face of New Global Trends.” More than 150 business leaders with diverse backgrounds gathered to discuss the impact of digitalization on industries and the new opportunities arising from such disruptive changes.

The meeting officially started with a welcome dinner on December 12 with greetings from Mr. Hashimoto Keiichiro, Vice Chairman and President, Keizai Doyukai. Mr. Hiyashi Nobuhide, the 45th AJBM Chairman, gave the welcome toast to guests that evening.

The first plenary session, held on the morning of December 13, presented two keynote speeches. Mr. Imai Yasuyuki, Senior Vice Officer and COO, Softbank (Softbank Business Development Strategy in Asia), talked about “Technology Utilization Japan’s New Challenge—Position and Relationship with ASEAN.” After Mr. Yasuyuki’s presentation, Mr. Konuma Yasuyuki, Director & Senior Executive Officer, Tokyo Stock Exchange gave his speech on “Market Cooperation and Mutual Growth of Japan and ASEAN.” A Q&A followed each keynote presentation.

Shortly after lunch was served, the discussion among ASEAN-Japan Startups commenced. Officially titled “Growth Strategy of ASEAN – Japan Startups Expanding Globally,” the panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Mashita Naoaki, CEO & Founder, V-Cube and included panelists:

  • Mr. Izumo Mitsuru, CEO & founder, Euglena
  • Mr. Ota Yoshihiro, Head of CEO Office, Axelspace Corporation
  • Mr. Taniguchi Naoji, CEO & CTO, Holoeyes
  • Mr. Jeffrey Foo, CEO & Mr. Sean Ong, Regional Group Director for Japan & Korea, LIV3LY
  • Mr. Prasetio Erlimus, CEO, PT Compro Kotak Inovasi
  • Mr. Honma Masahiko, General Partner, Incubate Fund

Several Breakout Sessions were held from two to four in the afternoon. Mr. Watanabe Kazufumi, Vice President, Amazon Japan, moderated the session “Connecting the Markets and Enhancing Opportunities—Digital changes consumer marketE-commerce).” Mr. Hachiuma Fuminao, President & CEO, J-OIL MILLS, INC. led the session “Upgrading Industries—Digital Changes Industry Infrastructure and Value Chains (manufacturing & human resources), while Dr. Asano Toshio, Former President and CEO, Asahi Kasei Corporation, moderated the session “Enhancing Well-Being for All—Smart, Sustainable and Quality Solutionssmart city solutions, energy & environment, mobility.”

The second plenary session followed the Breakout Sessions and provided reports from those sessions and the opportunity for a Q&A. Mr. Hayashi and Mr. Hashimoto gave the wrap up and closing remarks. A closing dinner and cocktails followed, which also served as a networking opportunity for the participants.

December 14 was reserved for the AJBM Steering Committee Meeting.

45th AJBM Program

Registration Now Open for 42nd Philippines-Japan Friendship Golf Tournament

Registration for the 42nd Philippines-Japan Friendship Golf Tournament is now open. Slots are limited to 144 players only (36 teams). Interested players can register through the event’s online registration page.

The Philippines-Japan Friendship Golf Tournament is an annual tradition of the association aimed at fostering friendship and cooperation between Filipinos and Japanese. The tournament follows a four-man team Scramble (Best Ball) honesty game and requires at least one Japanese or one Filipino player in each team.

The 42nd Philippines-Japan Friendship Golf Tournament is scheduled on February 17, 2020 at The Country Club, Santa Rosa, Calabarzon, Philippines.

PHILJEC & PJS Members Heading to Tokyo for 45th ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting

PHILJEC and PJS representatives are scheduled to participate in the 45th ASEAN-Japan Business Meeting (AJBM) set on December 12 to 14, 2019 at The Imperial Hotel, Tokyo. The Philippine delegation will be headed by its PHILJEC Chairman, Mr. Gerard B. Sanvictores.

This year’s meeting is centered on the theme “New Reality and Opportunity for ASEAN and Japan in the Face of New Global Trends” and aims to provide a venue for participants to launch a discussion over the future model of ASEAN-Japan business partnership against a backdrop of disruptive changes happening in the ASEAN economy and society as global business moves toward digitization.

Senior Vice Officer and COO of Softbank, Mr. Yasuyuki Imai and Director and Senior Executive Officer of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Mr. Yasuyuki Konuma will deliver their keynote addresses on the opening day of the meeting. Diverse and high-level participants from established Japanese companies and start-ups are also expected to present and join panel discussions during the 3-day event.

The AJBM is an annual meeting that promotes economic exchange among private sector businesses towards the stability and development of ASEAN and Japan. The 45th AJBM is closely organized with important public organizations including METI, MoFA, JETRO and JOIN.

PJS Members Meet for 2019 Annual General Assembly

PJS President, Mr. Francis C. Laurel, led the organization’s 2019 Annual General Meeting held last July 17, 2019 at The Philippines-Japan Friendship Center in Makati City. The presentation of the President’s Report, the election of new members for the Board of Trustees 2019-2020, and plans for the 41st Medal of Merit Awards Night were among the activities on the agenda for the afternoon. 

As stated on The President’s Report, PJS’ main activities from July 2018 to July 2019 included the 40th Medal of Merit Awards Night in honor of Mr. Tomas I. Alcantara, Chairman and President of Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc., and the 41st PJS Friendship Golf Tournament, which had the highest number of players and first all-ladies team. 

The report also highlighted special events such as The Symposium on the Fukuda Doctrine & Installation of the Commemorative Marker, the 2nd Japan-Philippines Business Matching Forum, and the conferment of The Order of the Rising Sun with Neck Ribbon upon Mr. Feliciano Torres, PJS Trustee and Medal of Merit Awardee. PJS members also attended a photo session at the Marker of Dr. Jose P. Rizal and the Former President Elpidio Quirino with DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, and Magsaysay Group President and CEO, Ms. Doris Magsaysay Ho, at the Hibiya Park, Chiyoda, Japan.

The Treasurer’s Financial Report and the Ratification of the Acts of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee and Management for the year 2018 were carried out after the presentation of The President’s Report. 

Japan Foundation Conferred 41st PJS Medal of Merit

On July 31, 2019, The Philippines-Japan Society (PJS) conferred upon The Japan Foundation (JF) the 41st Medal of Merit for outstanding achievements and contributions in promoting and strengthening Philippines-Japan relations. During the formal awards night held at the New World Hotel in Makati City, PJS President, Mr. Francis C. Laurel and Vice-President, Mr. Gerard B. Sanvictores, donned the Medal of Merit to The Japan Foundation, represented by Executive Vice-President, Mr. Tomoyuki Sakurai and presented the plaque of the Citation, which was read by  Atty. Jose Vicente E. Jimenez, PJS Corporate Secretary.

The Japan Foundation was established on October 1972. The foundation remains to be the only institution dedicated to carrying out cultural and intellectual exchanges between Japan and other nations worldwide. Its programs focus on three areas: 1. Arts and Cultural Exchanges; 2. Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchanges; and 3. Japanese Language Education Overseas. In 2014, it established The Japan Foundation Asia Center—a special unit aimed at furthering cultural exchange between Japan and Southeast Asia. In 1996, Japan Foundation Manila (JFM) was established as its 18th overseas office.

Since 1997, JFM has been a close and active partner of the Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture Foundation (PIJLC) and Nihongo Center Foundation (NCF) specifically in the field of Japanese language education and training. PIJLC and NCF operate under the aegis of The Philippines-Japan Friendship Foundation (PJFF), an affiliate of PJS. One notable, long-running collaboration has been the 6-month Intensive Japanese Language Program for Filipino Nurses and Care Workers under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) program. Filipino Nihongo teachers under PIJLC and NCF have also received grants and participated in training programs at the foundation’s offices in Urawa and Kansai. 

As stated on the MOM citation:

“Indeed, the vision, mission, and advocacy of the Philippines-Japan Society and all its affiliated Philippines-Japan friendship associations, including both the PIJLC and NCF, are markedly aligned with those of The Japan Foundation, making us natural partners in our shared quest for peace, prosperity, and strong partnership between our two countries through genuine and close friendships between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines.”

Read the full Citation of the Medal of Merit presented to The Japan Foundation here.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Sakurai conveyed how the foundation is greatly honored by the recognition and how he feels that the relationship between Japanese and Filipinos is at its golden age— its closest and friendliest ever.

“…on behalf of The Japan Foundation, l would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Philippines-Japan Society for awarding us with such a prestigious medal of merit.”

“…the conferment of this medal of merit would not have been possible without the enormous contribution of many highly-capable and talented Filipino staff members since the establishment of The Japan Foundation, Manila in 1996.”

“I feel that the present relationship between Japanese and Filipinos is at its closest and friendliest ever. We are blessed with a golden age in Japan-Philippines relations.”

Read the full acceptance speech of Mr. Sakurai here.


Ambassador Makoto Katsura, President of The Philippine Society of Japan, spoke at the awards night, while the greetings of H.E. Koji Haneda, Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Philippines were read by Minister Atsushi Kuwabara, Minister and Consul General of Japan in the Philippines. The Philippines-Japan Ladies Choral, led by Maestra Teresita A. Santos,  delighted the guests with their medley of Filipino and Japanese songs. 




Citation of the Medal of Merit
Acceptance Speech by Mr. Tomoyuki Sakurai
Opening Remarks by Mr. Francis C. Laurel
Greetings by Amb. Koji Haneda (read by Minister Atsushi Kuwabara)
Photo Gallery

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