※This is a Non-profit project. I also do not seek any solicitation for our own profit.
I have been wanting to create a Philippine Town in Japan for the past 3 years.
*The memorable song I was obsessed with during my stay in the Philippines.
Anna Kendrick - Cups (Pitch Perfect’s “When I’m Gone”)
The “Tsukiji Market” is a famous fish market and popular tourist attraction in Tokyo. Due to aging buildings in Tsukiji, -this huge market is about to be moved to another place called Toyosu.
So I came up with the idea of creating a Philippine Town in the former Tsukiji market place and I am planning to submit my proposal to the Japanese government.
However, the current Governor of Tokyo is against this Tsukiji market relocation plan.
Her concern is that there might be some unexpected risks involved with relocating to Toyosu.
There is no major urban planning going on for the former Tsukiji market place yet either; despite there being talks about the Tsukiji relocation plan.
Therefore, I would like to propose a plan for a "Philippine Town" before anyone else does.
Your support would be a huge key to the success of this project.
< First >
First of all, when I talk about the Philippines, you would probably imagine some tropical beach resorts, abundant fruits, rare mountains, wild animals, vehicles and more. Also, since it is an English-speaking country just 5 hours away from Japan, more and more Japanese-run language schools started their businesses in the Philippines, which you might have already heard of. Furthermore, the Philippines is getting known for representing a top economic growth rate in Asia and attracted even more attention at the end of last year when President Duterte visited Japan.
< Overseas motifs >
There is a China Town in Yokohama, a Korean Town in Shinjuku, a German Village in Chiba prefecture, a Brazil Town in Gunma prefecture.... Yet there is not a single Philippine Town in Japan; despite the fact that they speak a universal language and have a strong relationship with Japan.
< Philippines >
The Philippines is the 3rd largest English speaking country, with an enthusiasm for education. According to the research in the U.S., the Philippines ranked first in Business English proficiency in the world. Since there are over 170 different dialects consisting of over 7000 big and small islands, their ability to acquire new languages and adapt to the environment are outstanding. Also, in the Philippines, women are well-respected. Men in the Philippines always respect women, and both men and women have good manners, morals and passion. Personality-wise, they are naturally cheerful, unique in a good way and positive, which is often common in tropical region.
< Reason why the Philippines respects women >
In the Philippines, it is really common to see female politicians or managers. In history, there were two female presidents in the Philippines but Japan (and even America) still has never had a female leader for the country, just candidates. As a result of the Philippines' policy to increase the ratio of women in politics, by 2015, 27 percent of the politicians in the Philippines were female. (11.5% in Japan)
Retail worker in mall
< Issue of Japanese who studied abroad >
Even though there are approximately 80k Japanese people studying abroad each year (more than 30k of them go to the Philippines in 2014), only a few of them speak English after they return to Japan. That is to say, most of them would lose an opportunity to speak English after they come back to Japan, and unfortunately they eventually forget what they learned abroad.
< Three potential benefits of this project >
To foster the economic growth of the Philippines and Japan
Japan and the Philippines share an interdependent relationship. The Japanese government announced that they will support a 1 trillion yen project for comprehensive economic cooperation and official development assistance (ODA), as well as private investments over the next five years. However, we cannot really trace the massive foreign investments. But if people from the Philippines can easily come over to Japan to do joint activities, then I believe it will lead to not only financial assistance, but also the improvement of civilization and economic growth for both countries.
Improve English proficiency in Japan
Currently, English proficiency in Japan is the lowest in Asia. The Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is trying to add a new “foreign language activity" starting from the fifth grade in elementary school by 2020 in hopes to advance the children's educational progress. If there is an English speaking environment like a Philippine Town, people can easily stop by any time of the day and enjoy the town while practicing speaking English. Then, they get an opportunity to speak English daily as well.
To build a town that makes use of old buildings in Tsukiji.
After making sure of the safety and security of the area, we can gather language schools and global companies. Since it is near the port, we can build a resort-like space, multinational restaurants and cafes with beautiful patios and running an eco-friendly Philippine Jeepney on the premises and so on.. We can make it "a place of recreation" that has never existed in this world's busiest city, Tokyo.
< Inspired Location >
I suggest it should resemble the IT Park in Cebu. One of the reasons is because that is the city where I learned English. There are many language schools and skyscrapers that include many foreign-affiliated companies, IT companies and multinational restaurants. Also, the spacious cafe spaces offers a blissful moment with the relaxing view of palm trees and a comfortable sofa.
< Dear Ms. Yuriko Koike >The cost of repairing the Tsukiji market is estimated to be somewhere around 50 to 80 billion yen. What do you say you invest some of that money in International Park?
< Finally, the truth that cannot be hidden >
Do you know that it is very difficult for Filipinos to travel to Japan right now?
One of the reasons is that the cost of living in the Philippines is 1/8 of Japan, and labor costs are about 1/10.
Another reason is that the entertainer certificate (ARB) was abolished between Japan and the Philippines and the entrance regulation increased.
In the 1980’s we had a Philippine fad in Japan during the Japanese economic miracle. Japanese company retreats to the Philippines were very popular back then because it was close, cheap and so much fun.
If you remember those days in Japan, you might remember hostess bars called "snacks" if I were to mention Filipina.
On the other hand, there were certain numbers of unscrupulous Japanese brokers who fixed Filipinos up with jobs in the performing arts (such as dance) in Japan. And many of the Filipinos who acquired entertainer certificates (ARB) came over to Japan full of dreams, all for their beloved family.
However, they came to Japan only to find themselves with a job in a small "snack." In the meantime, in order to get a permanent stay, camouflaged marriages continued one after another.
These issues were pointed out from the US government, and Japan abolished ARB and imposed entry restrictions on Filipinos in 2007.
As a Japanese citizen I cannot tolerate what was brought about by our predecessors, thus I will become the sponsor for Philippines and open a legitimate path of hiring Filipinos for their work in Japan.
Despite the poverty, the Philippines has one big family-like bonding culture which makes you feel connected to people.
The average number of siblings is around 5-10.
I interviewed multiple families in the Philippines.
They told me "Money doesn't make me happy or motivated, but bonding with people does."
In Japanese culture, especially children during puberty, people tend to be ashamed of going out with parents or introducing family members.
What's most important and realizing its importance after losing it:
So what is it?
For most adolescents in Japan, there are not many opportunities to realize the importance of family.
Watching the Japanese news about underage crimes, child abuse, and murders among family members, really bothers me.
If you cannot treat your family well, then you cannot treat anyone else well either.
Filipinos rarely say bad things about others.
And since many Filipinos have straight priorities, it is even rare to see teenage couples as it is seen as an importance period to build human character and spend time with family.
I am very confident that the pure-at-heart people of the Philippines will be able to contribute a lot to the Japanese future.
At present, I feel that we are missing something important in Japan.
One for all, All for one
We should change where we stand a little.
If we see things from different points of view, then we might be able to realize what is actually important.
< The Glamour of Japan >
Japan is known as the safest country in the world. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery of each season with Kimonos and seasonal foods. With traditional Japanese culture, many foreigners pick Japan as a dream country to live.