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Homestay in Asuka Village, Nara Prefecture

Participants from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, etc. took part in homestay in Asuka Village, Nara Prefecture as an experience of Omotenashi provided by the local community through “JICA Human Resource Capacity Development on ‘Japanese Hospitality, Omotenashi’ in Tourism (A)” (conducted between September and October). At their host families, they experienced Japanese everyday life, such as using futon and cultivating vegetables. They learned that “hands-on experience” can be one of the attractive resources for tourism.


I could have a positive response.

At the seminar, “JICA Developed Market Oriented Export Promotion Strategy / Marketing Strategy (A)”, a mock business meeting was held at Doshisha University on Thursday, June 29. Products from the countries of each participant were introduced to the experts from a variety of fields. The experts provided some advice on effective ways to advertise and to enhance the attraction of those products. The photo shows traditional Uzbek textile, Atlas, which was one of the most popular products in the meeting.

Gift from a participant (July 2017)

Completed assembling the gift from a participant! Can you guess from which country it is?

The answer is Kyrgyzstan!
We received a miniature of “yurt”, portable dwelling from Central Asia. Yurts are Kyrgyz tradition loved by Kyrgyz and used as a part of the design of the national flag.

PREX has been promoting Kaizen activity (July 2017)

All staff have been participating in Kaizen activity since FY2015 in PREX.
First prize of FY2016 was given to “tidying up the area around the trash cans”!

Changing the world and future by connecting people (July 2017)

Our work in PREX helps connect administrative officials, business managers and people having dreams

I have liked supporting people since I was little. I am very glad to be able to connect people who are strive to attain his or her dream, regardless of whether they are in or out of Japan.

In addition, I am proud of supporting them to stimulate each other and to achieve their goal in PREX. Whatever little their achievement may be, participants’ success makes me feel great pleasure.

I majored in international development studies as undergraduate. In 2014, I supported local entrepreneurs in Bangladesh under Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, In developing countries, there are lots of people having difficulties in realize their dream due to financial and geographical reasons in spite of having great dream and hope.

I questioned myself what I could do and began to think that connecting people might help people who want someone’s support. I strongly believe that excellent business managers can create employment and provide employees and customers the chance to live as proper human beings. If the number of excellent business managers increases, the world would change in a good way.”

During our programs, participants visit Japanese small and medium-sized companies. Although the economy in Japan is said to be “in recession”, there are so many blooming companies, business managers and employees. They regard each participant and PREX staff as a “human beings” and deal with us naturally and frankly.

Their attitudes towards valuing their staff and their idea that “the company belongs to all employees”, are Awesome”! As long as there are such people at such small and medium-sized companies, Japan can be regarded as “the country with hope”.

Stimulated and influenced by business managers from Japanese companies, I would like to increase leading administrative officials and business managers in the world.
(Fujita, International Department, PREX)

Head of Kazakhstan-Japan Center visited PREX. (May 2017)

Ms. Zhanar Orazgaliyeva, head of Kazakhstan-Japan Center, and Ms. Abe, JICA Expert, visited PREX! Ms. Zhanar has joined in PREX’s seminars before. It was a nice surprise to know that she had become a promising head of the Kazakhstan-Japan Center. We were very pleased to see them again in Japan. (Ms. Zhanar, the second from left in the photo, Ms. Abe, the third from left)

Participants from Africa liked umeshu so much! (May 2017)

The visit to KOBE SHU-SHIN-KAN, the brewery of “Fukuju” (Japanese sake), was carried out through the “JICA Capacity Development for Investment Promotion (B) Training and Dialogue Program”. Participants from Cameroon, Kenya and Zimbabwe liked “Fukuju’s umeshu (plum wine made from rice wine)” so much that they bought one bottle each.

Message on leaving

I will return to DAIKIN INDUSTRIES, LTD. as of 30 April.
I was fortunate I could work with people from various fields while being at PREX.
I will utilize this experience in my next job in DAIKIN INDUSTRIES. Thank you very much for having me for 12 years.

Pleased to meet you! I am Hiroyuki Nakatani!

Pleased to meet you! I am Hiroyuki Nakatani.

I have been sent from Sumitomo Electronic Industries, Ltd. as of April 1.
I had been in charge of sales of thin heat-resistant electric wires and tape-shaped wiring material used in home appliances and in-vehicle equipment since I joined the company in 1983. Our clients are companies which you are familiar with, including Panasonic and Daikin. It was my pleasure to have been able to provide the most suitable products by meeting the clients’ needs, which resulted in contributing to the development of new products indirectly.
I am very nervous as the duties in PREX are completely different from what I used to do. However, I think that the fundamental concept may be the same as the duties here are to meet participants’ and entrusters’ needs and provide the most suitable seminars. I will do my best to help developing countries and companies in Kansai through the fostering of human resources and international exchange. I look forward to working with you.

What kind of training is energy conservation training?

Japan has many things to be proud of on the world stage. Energy conservation technology and know-how in particular can contribute to effective energy use, CO2 reduction, and environmental conservation if this knowledge is spread worldwide. I think this will become ever more important in the future. In the Kansai region in particular, there are large corporations as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises that have the technology to promote energy conservation, which I would like to introduce to the world through the training program.

“JICA Training for Government Efforts in Energy Conservation Technology and Dissemination of Technology” is a training program that started in 2014 and has been going on for three years. This year, it was held twice in July and October, with a total of 12 participants from 11 countries. Our goal is to have participants learn about energy conservation, create action plans, and implement them in their organizations once they return to their home countries. I hope in particular that learning about energy conservation technologies and specific measures carried out by Japan’s private companies will help participants draw up effective energy conservation measures in their own countries.

Tell us about the participants.

The participants came from countries in various situations, including energy-rich countries, countries with the world’s cheapest electricity fees, and countries where daily 10-hour blackouts were the norm. As such, their energy conservation situations were vastly different from each other. Most countries had some form of law concerning energy conservation, but it seems the state and citizens have neither a strong interest nor understanding of energy conservation. They also face budget limitations. However, these participants were workers from their country’s energy-related ministry or agency, municipality, or power company, and were already involved in energy conservation in their own countries. They all shared the same desire to somehow gain the understanding of the state, organizations, and citizens to promote energy conservation.

What makes energy conservation in Japan and Kansai something to be proud of?

Japan can pride itself on how there are mechanisms in place in companies and organizations to train people to promote energy conservation, how there are many energy-efficient products available domestically, and how energy management systems are widely in place amongst companies and organizations. The Kansai region can pride itself on its many companies that have excellent energy-conservation and environmentally-friendly technologies.

For training, I asked Mr. Takuo Yamaguchi from Bizen Green Energy Co., be our advisor. This company, located in Okayama, has made energy conservation its business. I would like participants to hear about their experiences and look into the possibility of creating a company like this in their home countries.

Is common sense in Japan common sense for the world?

Advisor Yamaguchi comments as follows: “I have learned a lot through the training program by getting to know the state of countries all over the world.” For example, Venezuela is the third-largest oil producer in the world, but is dependent on hydroelectricity for power. When draughts occur during the dry season due to global warming, the dams become unusable and there is a shortage of power. This is a strange story, considering how they have oil.

What is seen as common sense in Japan is not necessarily the same for the world. There are many people in the world who face challenges that we cannot even imagine. I don’t know what kind of environment Japan may find itself in the future, but I think that hearing about how people of the world are grappling with their challenges and thinking about them together through this training is very valuable in preparing for the future.

*The four-week training program. Participants who experienced Japan’s energy conservation technology!
(Musha, International Department)