The Japan International Cooperation Agency lauded the 10-year milestone of the JICA Alumni Association of the Philippines Inc., one of the JICA alumni networks of scholars in the Asean.

JAAP was established with the unification of the three previous alumni associations under JICA: the Philippine-Japan Fellows Associations, Philippine-ASEAN-Japan Friendship Association for the 21st Century Inc., and Japan Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of JAAP, which supports the implementation of human resource development initiatives of Japan in the Philippines.

“The JAAP alumni network is a strong force, being an invaluable source of advice, contacts and network. By utilizing and sharing their expertise obtained in their training or study in Japan, it is achieving this country’s development and prosperity. It is also a trusted platform to enhance friendships and bonds between Japanese and Filipinos. I cannot admire its members’ devotion and contributions more,” said JICA chief representative Sakamoto Takema.

“Let me recall Japanese Prime Minister Kishida’s Congress Speech in Manila last November, where he highlighted the value of ‘Heart-to-Heart Ties’ and ‘Golden Friendship, Golden Opportunities’. JAAP members are true proponents of these concepts,” Sakamoto added.

JAAP has launched corporate social responsibility projects in the Philippines, including disaster-relief operations for earthquakes in Mindanao, Cagayan and Bicol, as well as knowledge exchange through lectures on innovations like real-time flood forecasting and gender and labor issues.

Also called advocates and ambassadors of Japan-Philippine friendship, JAAP members assume roles in policy-making and high-level positions in the government, private institutions and non-profit organizations.

JICA sends hundreds of Filipinos for study and training in Japan annually.

Since 1954, approximately 43,000 Filipinos have been recipients of JICA’s training and scholarship programs.

JICA said it will continue to engage and partner with Filipino alumni in carrying out its development cooperation in the Philippines.