Japan development assistance to the ASEAN, primarily on education and human resource development assistance, is going to continue.
This is the assurance given by Susumou Ito, chief representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-Philippines, in his keynote address at an international symposium sponsored by organizations of alumni of Japanese universities from the ASEAN, Asia, and from the Philippines.
Ito expressed the full support of JICA in the formation and progress of the ASEAN community. He also recalled the programs organized through Japan development assistance which primarily focused on education and human resources.
Ito said that these two aspects must be supported to achieve sustainable economic growth and address common economic problems such as unemployment or job skills mismatch. He further said that partnerships between public and private sectors must also be established.
The Symposium sought to examine the trends and patterns of Japan Development assistance in developing highly skilled human resources in the context of globalized education and ASEAN economic integration. It also opened discussions on how human resources as basis for economic improvement could be further developed for the long-term.
Its theme was “Japan Development Assistance: trends, patterns, issues, and prospects for education and human resource development.”
Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr., dean of the UPLB Graduate School, gave the opening message and the synthesis for the symposium. Dr. Camacho is the president of the Philippine Federation of Japan Alumni (PHILFEJA).
Dr. Camacho, a professor of economics at UPLB, stressed the importance of strengthening human resources and investing in human capital for sustainable economic development. He also underscored the need to put more effort into developing science and technology education and training.
The Symposium guests were Gotaro Ogawa, director of ASJA and Ken Nakamura, director of Japan Information and Cultural Center (JICC), Embassy of Japan, Manila.
The panel and plenary speakers were Dr. Cielito Habito, professor of economics at the Ateneo de Manila University and former socioeconomic planning secretary and director-general of the National Economic Development Authority; Dr. Philip Ian M. Padilla, professor at UP Visayas and former UP faculty regent; Dr. Ceasar A. Saloma, professor at the National Institute of Physics, UP Diliman; Dr. Wataru Kusaka, professor at the Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University, Japan; and Dr. Virgilio U. Manzano, professor at the College of Education, UP Diliman. Also in attendance was Philip B. Sanvictores, president of the Samahan ng mga Pilipino na Nanirahan sa Nippon (SAPILNIP), who delivered the closing remarks.
The Asia Japan Alumni (ASJA)-ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA)-PHILFEJA International Symposium was held at the SGV Conference Hall, Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Conference Center, Makati City on Feb. 20. (Jessa Jael S. Arana)