In 1972 Mr. Jovencio D. Torres, an alumnus of both Yokohama National University and the University of Tokyo, conceived of an association of Filipino recipients of any scholarship grant from the then Japanese Ministry of Education (Monbusho). He met with former Monbusho scholars Prof. Jose G. Diaz, Dr. Felipe P. Calderon, Mr. Cesar Lopez, Dr. Efren C. Flores and Mr. Larry M. Azurin one summer night to plan a course of action. Several months later, in January 1973, the six gentlemen gathered with other former Monbusho scholars at the audiovisual room of the then Japan Information Center of the Embassy of Japan to elect the first officers of the association they named "Philippine Association of the Japanese Ministry of Education (Monbusho) Scholars," or PHILAJAMES for short. The elected officers were sworn into office on April 7, 1973 at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City with Ambassador Toshio Urabe as Inducting Officer and Guest Speaker.

Dr. Paciente A. Calderon, Jr., initiated the move to incorporate the Association and register it with the Securities and Exchange Commission during his term as President (1978-1979). This move was realized during the term of Mr. Nestor D. Garcia (1980-1981).

To meet the challenges of the new millennium the Association's Board of Directors first amended its By-Laws in 1997, during the term of Ms. Lydia G. Tansinsin (1997-2000).

In 2003, during the term of Dr. Benito M. Pacheco (2002-2005), the name of the Association was changed to "Philippine Association of the Japanese Government Scholars" in response to the 2001 merging of Japan's Ministry of Education and Science and Technology Agency that resulted in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Monbukagakusho), or MEXT. The acronym PHILAJAMES was retained but membership to the association was expanded to include recipients of a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Dissertation PhD (JSPS Ronpaku) grant.

PHILAJAMES attunes itself to new challenges. Its different Chapters serve as central points for the dissemination of information on Japanese education and scholarship programs, orientation of new scholars, participation in local and regional activities such as those of PHILFEJA and ASCOJA, and celebration of annual Philippine-Japan festivals. A new objective toward promoting the professional growth of members was added in recent years, and the association strives to offer learning opportunities, formal or informal, whenever it can.

PHILAJAMES celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1997 when Dr. Silvano D. Mahiwo was president. It will celebrate its 50th in 2022 and is now planning for a Grand Reunion.