August 18, 2017
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the world's largest bilateral aid agency together with the Japan Foundation Manila (JFM) and University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) – College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanology and Institute of Fisheries Policy and Development Studies are introducing a part of Japanese culture and tradition to university students via a film screening of Japanese documentary "Tsukiji Wonderland' at the UP campus in Miagao this recently.
This is the first time that JICA partnered with a university to raise awareness on Japan's fishing and seafood industries as part of its advocacy to support Philippines' food production systems and agriculture value chain.
"We hope that young Filipinos will appreciate the passion and perseverance that the Japanese exerted to build Tsukiji, one of the world's largest wholesale seafood markets," said JICA Senior Representative Aya Kano.
Tsukiji market is one of Japan's cultural gems reflecting the country's world war past and distinct food culture. The market employs some 12,000 workers and caters to about 30,000 customers daily.
As of 2015, about 13,000 young Filipinos have trained in the fishery, forestry, and agriculture sectors in Japan under JICA's Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP), one of JICA's assistance schemes that aim to support the Philippines' human resources development. A field visit to a fish market is a common feature of the training program.
"The documentary brings a universal message to the young generation specifically on the role of culture and tradition in shaping the future," added Kano.
UP Visayas is one of the country's foremost public research universities and is known for its expertise in marine science education. It is also one of the university partners of JICA in the Coastal Ecosystem Conservation and Adaptive Management under Local and Government Impacts in the Philippines or CECAM, a study that aims to promote science-based conservation policies in the Philippines.
"We believe that showcasing the stories and opportunities in working in the fishery and agriculture sectors will strike a chord in the young audience's heart so they may find value in exploring these fields," shared Dr. Nathaniel Anasco, Director of the Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanology.
The film screening is the second time that JICA is partnering with JFM's Japanese Film Festival or EIGASAI as support to one the country's popular international film festivals on its 20th anniversary this year. "We hope that the showing of this documentary will create a meaningful discourse on an aspect of Japanese culture that other countries like the Philippines can relate to and appreciate," said JFM Director Hiroaki Uesugi.