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Thursday, February 29, 2024

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Japan’s Shinnenkai celebration in Phl highlights academic excellence and deepening cultural exchange

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By Marinel Peroy 

The mutual ties between Japan and Philippines underscore cordial relationships, trust, and respect through various cooperation. One of which is the focus on educational tourism — through the help of Japanese Government scholarship programs and cultural exchange opportunities. This initiative fosters stronger ties between both countries, contributes to global advancement, and even develops the necessary skills for future leaders.
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Awarding Ceremony of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Award to the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA), received by the PHILFEJA President, Mr. Domingo Go

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PHILFEJA President, Mr. Domingo Go

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From left, Mr. SAKAMOTO Takema (JICA), Chairman Michael Aguinaldo, Amb. KOSHIKAWA Kazuhiko, Mr. Domingo Go, ASec. Mario Zinampan, Mr. SHIMODA Shigeru (JCCIPI)

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Description automatically generated Board of Trustees of PHILFEJA

On February 2, 2024, the Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines, His Excellency Koshikawa Kazuhiko, and the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA) hosted a Shinnenkai (New Year’s Party) to witness the presentation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Award to the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA). 

Members of PHILCULTAROS


During his speech, the Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines hopes to have the year 2024 as a year of “great progress and success”, as he highlights the strong friendship between Japan and the Philippines. 

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Members of PHILAJAMES

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Members of JAAP-JICA

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Members of APPAJU


“Last July, the Philippines overtook Thailand to become the country that sent most tourists to Japan among ASEAN countries. All of you here today are the core of Japan-Philippines relations,” said Ambassador Koshikawa. 

Members of APPAJU

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Members of SAPILNIP

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Members of JAAP-JSPS

Highlighting the strong bond between the Philippines and Japan, along with the outstanding contributions of ASCOJA which strengthened PH-Japan bilateral relations, the said event at the Japanese Ambassador’s residence gathered distinguished guests who shared advocacies, promoted quality and affordable education, and helped improve mutual understanding between the Philippine-Japan society. 

PHL-JPN scholarship opportunities 

Speaking to THEPHILBIZNEWS, Certificate of Foreign Minister’s Commendations Awardee and PHILFEJA President, Domingo Go shared that they help the embassy in the programs and teachers’ training by conducting orientation to students and chosen scholars before their respective departure. 


“We, as an alumni organization, try to strengthen the kind of relationship — improving the skills development of our graduates; because many of them go to Japan to study, then that contributes when they come back to the economic development and wellbeing of the country,” Go said. 

Moreover, PHILFEJA has collaborative efforts, such as activities in partnership with the National Institution for Youth Education (NIYE) in Japan, wherein 6 high school students were selected and one of their alumni as the adviser. Another is the Toshiba Youth Club, wherein 2 high students are being chosen from the ASEAN countries, with a PHILFEJA alumna/alumnus as an adviser as well. 

Go also highlighted that their association is an active partner of Asia Japan Alumni (ASJA), an entity with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which conducts exchange programs for those selected students under MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports Science and Technology) Scholarship. PHILFEJA spearheads the orientation of the scholars to ensure a smooth sailing transition all the way to the land of the rising sun. Further, an average of 100 Filipino scholars are being sent to Japan to study annually, according to the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines.

Philippine-based journalists joined the Shinnenkai at the Japanese Ambassador’s Residence with Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines His Excellency Kazuhiko Koshikawa (center). From left, Monsi A. Serrano, THEPHILBIZNEWS, Aricel Garcia of Fuji TV, Me, and Froilan Garcia of The Sankei Shimbun.

“As more Filipinos visit Japan, the ties between people of both countries will become even stronger. We hope that you will continue the friendship, especially through the academic and cultural exchange between our two countries,” said Ambassador Koshikawa. 

Kanpai ~ To further great strides and mutual ties through education excellence, Japan and the Philippines! 

For more information on the Japanese Government Scholarships, visit:

Embassy of Japan in the Philippines – https://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/index.html 

Study in Japan, Comprehensive Guide – 

http://studyinjapan.go.jp/en/ 

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT-Japan) – https://www.mext.go.jp/en/ 

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