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

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.


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.

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