Japan Foundation Manila の創⽴25周年記念、誠に御めでとうございます。

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Nihongo Center Foundation, as well as that of our sister organization, the Philippine Institute of Japanese Language and Culture Foundation, I wish to extend our sincerest and heartfelt congratulations to The Japan Foundation Manila in the observance of its 25th Foundation Anniversary.

Our relationship with the Japan Foundation dates back nearly half a century. Since the establishment of our parent associations – the Philippines-Japan Society and the Philippines Japan Friendship Foundation – in the early 1970s, we have pursued cooperative projects with The Japan Foundation given our shared advocacies in the promotion and strengthening of relations between Japan and the Philippines through a wide range of interpersonal exchanges : academic, research, culture, business and economics.

In the 1990s, we deepened our partnership with The Japan Foundation when we established The Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture フィリピン⽇本語⽂化学院 under the visionary leadership of our founder, Ambassador Jose S. Laurel III, which was strategically supported by the Japan Foundation with a grant to dispatch a Japanese Language Expert , not just to teach Nihongo to our student but more importantly perhaps, to set the standards for teaching preparatory Nihongo to young Filipinos aspiring to study in Japan.

The Japan Foundation expert it dispatched was Professor Kenjiro Ogata, who after the end of his assignment as a Japan Foundation grantee, decided to stay on to help Ambassador Laurel build a good facility in the Philippines that will effectively teach the Japanese language to our people. Ogata-sensei continues to serve our schools to this very day, nearly 30 years since he first landed in Manila.

In 1996, when the Nihongo Gakko of the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines had to be phased out, the Japan Information and Cultural Center sought the advice and assistance of Ambassador Laurel for the continuation of the operations of the iconic Japanese language school. This led to the establishment of the Nihongo Center Foundation, again with the generous grants from the Japan Foundation. That was also the year when The Japan Foundation Manila was established, thus accelerating and strengthening our partnership.

For the last 13 years, we have been working with The Japan Foundation Manila in the predeployment training in preparatory Nihongo for nurse and care worker candidates chosen under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement. We are honored to be one of your partners in this strategically vital program that serves the interests of both Japan and the Philippines.

Many of our teachers have also been blessed to be trained under both the Short-Term and Long-Term Japanese Language Teachers Training Program held at the Japan Foundation facility in Urawa City. This has underpinned our key goal of building a pool of highly trained and eminently qualified Filipino professional teachers of Nihongo.

In recognition of the many years of close and mutually beneficial relationship between Japan Foundation and the various associations under the ambit of the Philippines-Japan Society, the Japan Foundation was awarded the Philippines-Japan Society Medal of Merit in 2019, the 41st recipient of this prestigious award in recognition of its outstanding achievements and contributions in promoting and strengthening Philippines-Japan relations.
The Medal of Merit Citation partly reads:

“Indeed the vision, mission and advocacy of the Philippines-Japan Society and all its affiliated Philippines-Japan friendship association, 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.”

As we look back to our decades’ long partnership with The Japan Foundation, notably the last 25 years since the establishment of The Japan Foundation Manila, we are filled with gratitude and awe for the strong and ever-reliable support we have been blessed to receive from The Japan Foundation. We therefore are able to look forward to the next 25 years and more with a blessed hope, joyful expectation and deep faith that our partnership with The Japan Foundation will continue to deepen and prosper.

For all these years you have been of service to countless Filipinos, including the teachers and thousands of students in our schools where they took their first steps in their Nihongo learning journey, I say Thank You most sincerely, Japan Foundation Manila. ⼤変お疲れさまでした;⻑い間本当にお世話になりました、⼼より、感謝申し上げます。

Maraming, maraming Salamat po.

Congratulatory Message of

Nihongo Center Foundation, Inc.
Philippine Institute of Japanese Language & Culture

To The Japan Foundation Manila
On the occasion of its
25th Foundation Anniversary

27 October 2021