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.