According to the Ministry of Defense, Filipinos are the 3rd or 4th largest foreign population living in Japan (depending on the year, it continues to be a toss-up with Vietnamese residents), and they have had a long and strong presence in the country.
The number of Filipinos living in Japan had increased in the late 90s to the numbers seeing today. However, many of those numbers were a sad result of the human trafficking problem Japan has. Therefore, once the Japanese government started to act and fight human trafficking, the number of Filipinos plummeted before seeing a steady recovery over the past decade.
The population is also expected to grow thanks to Japan’s new visa policies that will make it easier for people from certain countries in Southeast Asia to move to the archipelago. Filipinos have long had a big presence in Japan, so, what do Japanese feel about them?
Japanese also see Filipinos as extremely hard-working. This is very easy to see, considering the wide variety of industries Filipinos work in and the amount of hours they put in each day. You can see Filipinos working in healthcare, hospitality, electronics, food services, teaching, and construction among other industries. In fact, 100,000 Filipino workers might come to Japan as Japan looks to hire many foreign nationals. As a result, Filipinos have earned a high regard, continuing to enjoy a great reputation among Japanese.
Some of the things Japanese admire the most about people from the Philippines are their English skills. After all, more than 90% of Filipinos can understand and speak English. This is one of the reasons many Japanese tend to go to the Philippines to study English. Considering a flight between Tokyo and Manila lasts less than five hours, it’s also very easy to understand why so many people prefer going there to studying somewhere farther and more expensive. In fact, it’s not uncommon to hear of a coworker or friend who will be staying in the Philippines for a few weeks to complete an intensive English class.
Ask any Japanese and they’ll tell you: Filipinos are extremely fun! In fact, many people consider Filipinos to be the Latin Americans of Asia due to their frivolous party spirit. Japanese think that Filipinos are great dancers and fabulous at hosting or attending parties, making every spot they go to an entertaining place where even the shiest person can shine and have fun. Thanks to this, Filipinos have become the soul of many parties in Japan, lightening them with their fabulous sense of joy.
People around Japan consider women from the Philippines to be very beautiful, and it’s easy to see why. After all, Filipinas have won many beauty pageants across the world. Just in 2016, Kylie Verzosa won Miss International in Japan, and Catriona Gray won Miss Universe in 2018. In fact, when it comes to the Big Four pageants, the Philippines has won a total of 15 titles, the second largest number after Venezuela. To make things more impressive, the Philippines has the longest streak of wins, meaning that the country’s recent climb to the top has been very fast. As a result of all this media exposure, many Japanese have become aware of how beautiful Filipinas are, making them think of them as beauty queens.
Thanks to their personality, Filipinos are also regarded as friends one can rely on since they are there to listen to you and support you. In difficult times when someone needs to let everything out of their system, it’s considered that no one around you will truly empathize with you like a Filipino will. That’s one of the many reasons Japanese like having their Filipino friends around!
Filipinos have a fantastic sense of community, which is why Japanese have found out how advantageous it is to have good Filipino friends around. They can truly complement one’s life.
This might come as a no-brainer to anyone from the Philippines, but people in Japan are becoming increasingly aware of just how beautiful beaches in the Philippines are. And you know how much Japanese love going to beach. To put things into perspective, Garuda Indonesia offers its first class product in only one route serving Bali: the one to Narita Airport, ANA decided to fly its three Airbus 380 (which feature new business and first class products) to Honolulu, and the single best way to visit New Caledonia if flying from anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere is through a layover in Narita. Not to mention that Honolulu’s most important routes continue to be the ones to Tokyo. Therefore, you can imagine how much people in Japan like traveling to tropical destinations. Since the Philippines has multiple islands with pristine beaches, the number of people from Japan traveling to the Philippines continues to increase, making Japanese the fourth largest number of international travelers.
What’s more, many of the beaches in the Philippines are pristine gems that not many foreign tourists have found yet. As a result, heading to the Philippines can provide a far more relaxing experience in a paradisaical place than heading to overcrowded beaches in Bali and Thailand. There’s a reason that Aman has one of its most important hotels on a private island in the Philippines; and Roseweood will follow very soon.
There you have it! As the number of Filipinos coming to the country continues to increase, each person will be representing their home country and culture, allowing a greater number of Japanese to learn about the Philippines and fall in love with its people.