Asia’s top maritime leaders led by Capt. Koichi Akamine, the chairman of International Mariners’ Management Association of Japan (IMMAJ) and Mr. Yasumi Morita, the president of All-Japan Seamen’s Union (JSU) paid tribute to the leadership of Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) and its education and training arm-the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific (MAAP) for honing and closing in to their cadets to continue producing world-class and globally competitive merchant marine officers.
In a speech delivered at the unveiling and commissioning of MAAP”s new training ship ‘M/V Kapitan Gregorio Oca’ last Jan. 31 at Pier 15 of Manila South Harbor, IMMAJ chairman Akamine said: “We have desired to further support the education of our Filipino cadets to pursue their aspirations to to become world-class maritime officers in the Japanese merchant fleet.” He said the discussions on this training ship began in 2014. “This is a joint project between employers and unions-a first of its kind in the world, and I am truly proud of this ship which is the ultimate display of the long-term commitment and partnership of the shipping industry in the Philippines and Japan”.
‘When the vision became a reality, IMMAJ placed an order with MIHO Shipyard in the Tsuneishi Group. The ship’s keel was laid in April last year, and in August of that same year it was named ‘Kapitan Gregorio Oca’, then it was delivered to MAAP on Dec. 25. Finally, the ship is here in Manila Bay today’.
He lauded Filipino maritime and seafaring industry icon Capt. Gregorio S. Oca, who, he described as founder of MAAP and great leader of AMOSUP, a ‘hero,’ recognizingthe late captain as the “Father of Modern Filipino Seafarers.”
AJSU PresidentYasumi Morita for his part said, “The new training ship project is an epoch-making scheme, first in the world.’ ‘This has been accomplished by the cooperation of four parties: the labor and the management of the beneficial ownership country and the labor and the management of the seafarers’ supply country in the international labor-management relations.” Paying tribute to AMOSUP founder Capt. Oca, he stressed that, ‘Until now, Capt. Oca, the father of Dr. Conrad Oca, is still gathering the respect from maritime labor movement people in the world.”
In response, Dr. Oca and Admiral Santos extended their gratefulness to Chairman Akamine, Pres. Morita and Chairman emeritus Manese and Director Quijano for their lending hands that gave birth to M/V KGO, MAAP’s second training ship, the first being M/V Kapitan Felix Oca (KFO).