Friends of WMU JAPAN
The world is a family, and all humankind are brothers and sisters.
FEBRUARY 2003 No.2
Sasakawa Fellows monopolized graduation awards
The year 2002 saw that 106 students were conferred postgraduate degrees at the WMU graduation ceremony that was held at Malmö Concert Hall on October 13.
Because of shortage of space, this article can only convey the good news that awaited the graduating Sasakawa Fellows that day. For the first time, the special awards --- Chancellor's Medal for Academic Excellence and C. P. Srivastava Award for International Fellowship --- were both conferred to Sasakawa fellows, Mr. Pedro Nolasco Terry Guillen of Peru and Mr. Josateki Tagi of Fiji, respectively.
Mr. Guillen demonstrated his capabilities through his illustrious academic achievements. He completed a dissertation entitled "A 21st Century Perspective on Peru & the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea." Now back home in Peru, he has contributed a message saying "I am profoundly thankful to Mr. Sasakawa and SOF for the invaluable opportunity they gave me to study the master degree program in Maritime Affairs at WMU over the last two years.... Undoubtedly, the rich, multi-cultural environment that I experienced at WMU is a powerful advantage when I engage in negotiations and decision making."
".... the Chancellor's Medal award is just a fair recognition to Mr. Sasakawa and SOF for giving me the opportunity of becoming a better professional today. Indeed, this award shows the success of SOF in its long history of educating and helping people in the maritime industry over the years."
|Mr. Guillen beams with the Chancellor's Medal
around his neck.
Mr. Tagi is to be commended for his contribution to promoting friendship among the students of various nationalities. He did so with energy and commitment in a manner admired by his peers.
Also back home in Fiji, he is now working on the creation of the South Pacific Regional Chapter of Sasakawa Fellows. According to him, the new Chapter would aim at bringing together all WMU Graduates in the region who were sponsored by The Nippon Foundation/SOF, identifying focus areas of activity, which will include the exploitation of the members' profession; the best use of the members' expertise, and the improvement of network capability, thereby keeping contact not only among the members but with other national chapters and the SOF headquarters.
Leading the graduation ceremony, Dr. Karl Laubstein, President/Rector of WMU, spoke with warmth, stressing the need for graduates to maintain bonds with the University. WMU Chancellor Mr. William O'Neil, Secretary-General of IMO, encouraged the graduates to face squarely the challenges confronting the international maritime community.
On the evening of October 12, SOF hosted a party for the graduating Sasakawa Fellows in the Japanese Consulate building, and Mr. Masahiro Akiyama, SOF chairman, handed to each graduand a certificate of member-ship with "Friends of WMU, Japan".
|Mr. Tagi congratulated by Prof. Hikima.
Filipinos launched their national chapter
|Solidarity was strengthened among the Chapter members by
the presence of Mr. Sasakawa.
The Philippines is an archipelagic country composed of more than 7,000 islands. It boasts a long history as a maritime nation. The country is also recognized internationally as a center of the richest tropical marine biodiversity, with over 400 species of corals. It's here that more than twenty members recently initiated the first (according to Mr. Yohei Sasakawa) full-fledged national chapter of Sasakawa Fellows' Network in the world.
With the attendance of Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of "Friends of WMU, Japan", the Filipino Sasakawa Fellows staged a plenary meeting of the Association of WMU-Sasakawa Fellows (Philippine Chapter), Inc. at Shangri-La Hotel (Makati) in Manila on November 18, and evinced their commitment to the development of the maritime community in the Philippines.
The agenda of the meeting was as follows:
1. National Anthems
2. Photo Session
3. Welcome Remarks by Vice-President of the Philippine Chapter
4. Presentation of the Registration Certificate of the Chapter
5. Oathtaking of the Chapter members officiated by Mr. Sasakawa
6. Launching of the Chapter's official web site
7. Launching of the Chapter's newsletter
8. Report of accomplishments and future plans and programs
9. Free discussion with Mr. Sasakawa
10. Prayer for the Soul of Mr. Romeo Gagui (Class 1992)
The meeting's highlight was a discussion between Mr. Sasakawa and the Chapter members. Attentively listening to the members' oral reports on their current duties and the Chapter's recent activities, Mr. Sasakawa made comments as follows:
"Your reports have let me know that currently you are occupying important positions at your own workplaces. Lessons of perseverance, cooperation and leadership gleaned from two years' study in Malmö will continue to have a good influence in your lifetime.
"It is one of the most important challenges for me to create and maintain life-long relations with the graduate Sasakawa Fellows. To this end, I inaugurated "Friends of WMU, Japan" ten years ago. In this sense, I am quite happy today to see with my own eyes the Philippine Chapter vigorously engaging in activities. You are the first national chapter of the Sasakawa Fellows' Network that has organized an alumni body into a full-fledged association, thereby touching off voluntary activities. I am deeply impressed.
Mr. Sasakawa presented with the chapter's T-shirt.
"The 21st century is the century of the oceans. Ocean-related issues are complicated in nature and numerous in number. People around the world are working on ocean governance involving relevant UN agencies. Sharing common recognition on ocean-related issues, we need to further exchange information with each other. To address ocean-related issues I hope the Philippine Chapter continues taking initiative.
"The Nippon Foundation and SOF are sister foundations. As you know, SOF established the Institute for Ocean Policy in April 2002. Since in today's Japan there exists no governmental agency playing a coordinating role in addressing ocean-related issues, expectations are high for SOF's contribution in making proposals on ocean policy. Please visit SOF's web site from time to time. I am certain that SOF can work together with the Philippine Chapter in various possible ways.
"The Nippon Foundation raises questions as a NGO and tries to urge the Japanese government to adopt multi-lateral discussions on important questions with Asian nations. It was The Nippon Foundation that first raised the question of piracy in East Asian seas and convened an expert meeting that was attended by coast guard commandants of the countries concerned.
"Sea lanes critical for East Asian nations pass through the highly congested Malacca-Singapore Strait, where a large number of ships are navigating around the clock. The Nippon Foundation is making efforts to formulate a system for the effective use of the Strait to be operated by both user countries and custodian countries. I hope the Philippine Chapter comes up with proposals on such important issues to work together with us in the fields of maritime safety and governance."
Fifteen Sasakawa Fellows participated in the meeting with Mr. Sasakawa:
Philippine Coast Guard
Mr. Ramon C. Liwag; Mr. Lino H. Dabi; Mr. Bon D. Chan; Mr. Joseph B. Badajoz; Mr. Elson E. Hermogino; Mr. Rolando D. Legaspi; Mr. Eduardo D. Fabricante; Mr. Rolando Lizor N. Punzalan, Jr., and Mr. Ferdinand M. Velasco.
Maritime Industry Authority
Mr. Ramon C. Hernandez; Ms. Sonia B. Malaluan; Mr. Zaldy G. Maquera, and Ms. Ninfa D. Martinez
Philippine Merchant Marine Academy
Mr. Menelieto A. Olanda
Maersk-Filipinas Crewing Inc.
Mr. Valentino H. Ferre
The meeting was followed by a lunch party, which also took place in the Hotel. Mr. Sasakawa, PCG Commandant Vice Admiral Lista, Atty. Pia, Deputy Administrator of MARINA, and RADM Aris, President of Philippine Merchant Marine Academy, gave brief speeches or greetings. The party was attended by the participants of the meeting as well as people from MARINA, PCG, DOTC, the Japanese Embassy, JICA, etc.
After the lunch party, Mr. Sasakawa left for Cebu Island to visit the leprosaria there. He is taking an active leadership in the UN campaign against leprosy that aims at eradicating the disease by the year 2005 (inclusive). In his speech to the Chapter members, Mr. Sasakawa directed their attention to the fact that an effective anti-leprosy drug was developed in the 1980s at Cebu Island.
The members of the Philippine Chapter went out on an excursion to Batangas City on November 16. With a logoed T-shirt on, eleven members left PCG headquarters at 06:30 for Batangas, where they reached after three hours' drive. First they visited Keppel Batangas Shipyard and then Shell Tabangao Refinery, where the members were warmly welcomed and allowed to observe respective facilities. At the Shell refinery, Mr. Warren Galarce, Water Front Manager and a Sasakawa Fellow of Class 1990, gave an explanatory lecture and guided the members around in the refinery including oil spill response facility. The trip was crowned with observation around the port area with the guidance of an officer of the PCG Batangas Station.
Keppel Batangas Shipyard
On November 17, eight members gathered at the ward room of the PCG headquarters to prepare for the following day's meeting, then to hold a working group meeting 09:00-12:00. The meeting was steered by Mr. Luis M. Tuason, Jr., President, and Mr. Ramon C. Hernandez, Vice-President. Topics covered by discussion included the following:
1.The Philippine Chapter will make raise-funding efforts to secure necessary budget for its activities in 2003. Donation from the members will be a must. In particular fund must be raised to maintain its web site.
2. The Chapter will form special committees and work out a five-year plan for its future activities.
・Newsletter should be published four times a year. Donation of fund to this end should be asked of shipping companies.
・Observation tours should continue to be organized.
・Cooperation with other national chapters should be exploited.
3. The Chapter should expedite preparation of "A Forum on Maritime Safety Consciousness".
4. In March 2003 an expert meeting on piracy will be hosted by PCG in Manila, with financial support from SOF and JCG. The members of the Chapter will be involved in implementation of the event.