The Japan Foundation, Manila (JFM) recently marked 20 years of successful cultural exchange endeavors in the country through its three projects, namely Japanese-Language Education in the Philippines, Arts and Culture, and Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange.
Japan Foundation Manila director Hiroaki Uesugi expressed his “sincere gratitude and appreciation to our friends and partners in the Philippines.”
“We believe the present relationship between the Philippines and Japan is the closest and friendliest, of which we are modestly proud that the Japan Foundation, Manila has been taking an active role in cultivating,” he said.
He renewed commitment toward “strengthening the bond between the Filipino and Japanese peoples through cultural exchange for another two decades and beyond.”
The 20th anniversary reception was held at the Peninsula Manila, attended by figures in the arts and the academe.
Among the guests were: Ambassador Benjamin Sanvictores, Executive Trustee, Philippine Japan Friendship Foundation; Ambassador Wilfrido Villacorta, former ambassador to the ASEAN; Ms. Cecilia B. Garrucho, president of Philippine Educational Theater Association; and i-feted Film Director Brillante Mendoza who have been part of JFM’s journey through the years.
Since its inception in 1996, JFM has progressed in all indicators. In language instruction, 4,300 applicants applied, in contrast with the 400 when it just started. In Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange, the scholars recently totaled over 30, attracting an estimated 150,000 Filipinos. The programs under the Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange pillar focuses on encouraging a greater understanding of Japan through supporting and promoting Japanese studies.