The statement was made on the sidelines of the graduation of 195 midshipmen and women belonging to the second batch of “Empriverion” class of 2018, where IMMAJ chairman Capt. Koichi Akamine was a guest of honor and speaker, according to data provided by Manila Bulletin.

In his speech, Capt. Koichi Akamine challenged the graduates 'to exert their best in their sea world', urging them to maintain the brand of excellence that Filipino sailors are known for worldwide.

Additionally, he continued by expressing gratitude to Filipino seafarers who continue to do a very important role in Japanese maritime industry, and he disclosed his hopes that more Filipino seafarers would be deployed on Japanese ships, in the years to come.

Of the 195 graduates from the batch, 89 received their Bachelor of Science in Maritime Transportation (BSMT) degrees, while 106 received Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSME) degrees. Together with last May’s 169 graduates of the first batch, MAAP has produced a total of 364 graduates this year.

In September, Filipino President issued an Executive Order further strengthening the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) to ensure the country’s full compliance with the STCW Convention.

The EO 63 foresees that the MARINA should establish systems and mechanisms 'for the promotion and protection of the well-being of the seafarers thereby ensuring their professionalism and competitiveness, both in local and international trade.'