We would like to congratulate Japan Foundation Manila (JFM) for their 20th Anniversary in the Philippines. JFM is Japan’s lone institution dedicated to carrying out comprehensive international cultural exchange programs.
Most of you would have known Japan Foundation through their various activities particularly their successful cultural exchange programs. Programs are divided into three categories: Japanese-Language Education in the Philippines; Arts and Culture; and Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange.
“On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Japan Foundation, Manila, we would like to express our 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,” said Hiroaki Uesugi, Director of the Japan Foundation, Manila. “We would also like to take this opportunity to reaffirm and renew our commitment to strengthening the bond between the Filipino and Japanese peoples through cultural exchange for another two decades and beyond.”
One of the many projects of the foundation is the bi-annual Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) which started in December 1996. From a mere 400 applicants in 1996, the last JLPT reached 4,300 applicants. Japanese language learners in the Philippines reached 7,193 to about 32,418 this year. These number shows the great accomplishment of the foundation in their 20 years of existence.
JFM also provides training for Japan-bound nurses and caregivers under the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA). Since 2011 when the program started about 1,200 had benefited this program. They were also instrumental in the introduction of Japanese language to public schools in the Philippines. To this date around 94 teachers had been fully trained.
It is indeed a great honor to be part of JFM’s programs, as part of the organizations which promotes Japanese culture in the Philippines. The foundation’s various activities covers Arts and Culture, Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange projects. Some these include the Japanese Film Screening or EIGASAI: The Japanese Film Festival, JFM traveling exhibitions, performing arts such as taiko, binraku, Rap and Japanese pop concerts. Just this year their Spinning Manila concert featuring Joe Inoue, Diana Garnet and the Beatmotors was a huge success.
50 Filipino scholars and researchers had already been the beneficiary of its Japanese Studies Fellowship Program. Some of the beneficiaries of this project includes Prof. Francisco Sionil Jose, National Artist for Luterature; and Dr. Wilfrido Villacorta, Former Ambassador to ASEAN.
Japanese education had also been greatly supported by the foundation particularly in schools were Japanese Studies were offered like Ateneo De Manila University, De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines. These schools were instrumental in ensuring that the language and culture are shared to Filipinos.
In 2014, JFM increased their programs promoting mutual exchange programs and cooperative projects in Asia countries through the Japan Foundation Asia Center. Among the projects of the center are Dance Dance Asia, Asian Youth Jazz Orchestra, grants and scholarship programs and NIHONGO Partners.
Watch out for activities which highlights not only the 20th Anniversary of Japan Foundation Manila (JFM) but also the 60 years of Philippine-Japan Friendship. Among the projects that are worth mentioning are the Japanese Design Today 100 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, the enhanced four-city EIGASAI Japanese Film Festival, and Bunraku (traditional puppet theater of Japan). Visit JFM website and Facebook page for more updates.
Again our congratulations to JAPAN FOUNDATION MANILA (JFM)!