Seminar Participants a Bridge Between Developing Countries and Japan

PREX marks its 20th anniversary in April of this year. As of November, it had implemented a total of 436 seminars, involving 12,555 participants from 124 countries and regions.

Taking part in the "Seminar on Small & Medium Enterprise Development Policies," which was commissioned by JICA Osaka and implemented June 1-26 2009, were 10 public-sector officials and others from 10 countries who are involved in small and medium-sized enterprise promotion. We asked participants to give their impressions while in Japan on the country and its people.

The participants with the flags of each of their countries.

From the comments of the participants, each person came to an understanding of Japan in their own way, while also giving a sense of the differences of the ways of thinking in their own countries. The participants have conveyed the desire to continue the exchanges with Japan and the Kansai region. International exchanges through seminars are PREX's key mission. We would like the participants to serve as bridge of human exchanges between their own countries and the Kansai region after they return home.

Satomi OKUMURA
Course planner, International Department
※Note: Information on each country is displayed on the Foreign Ministry's Web page.

Cambodia
Ms. POY Rathany
Government official, Department of Small Industry and Handicrafts, Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy (MIME)

Japan is a developed country and is very clean. I also got the feeling that Japanese people are diligent and respect each other. I was left with the strong impression that they carry out their work with much care. We have world historic sites in Cambodia like Angkor Wat, and I would like to see more people from Japan come here for tourism.

Cambodia
Land area: 181,000 km2
Population: 13.4 million
Major language: Cambodian
Cameroon
Mr. Jean Marie Louis BADGA
Sub Director, Small and Medium Enterprises Department,Ministry of SME's, Social Economy and Handicrafts

I actually went to Japan and was able to figure out its secret of success. Japanese people are very diligent, and I got the impression there is patriotism and that the working people love their country. I figured out that Japanese people like coffee, so exporting coffee might be a good idea.

Cameroon
Land area: 475,000 km2
Population: 18.9 million
Major languages: French, English
Mongolia
Ms. Tserennadmid BAYARAA
Officer, Small and Medium Enterprise and National Industrialization Promotion Division, Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry

I got the impression that Japan is structured by a partnership of the government and the people, involving such things as links between public institutions and private enterprise. I was surprised by the development of traffic facilities. I was impressed how arrangements had been well thought-out for every eventuality and that things progress according to plan. I was able to make friends from not only Japan also from among the participants from a variety of different countries. I was able to learn about the policies and cultures of various countries of the world.

Mongolia
Land area: 1,564,000 km2
Population: 2.7 million
Major language: Mongolian
Chile
Ms. Maria Carolina MORENO DROGUETT
Adviser, Small and Medium Enterprises Division, Ministry of Economy

Japan is a wonderful country where things run on time and plans proceed precisely. The Japanese people are very nice. For example, in the subway, people helped me even though they couldn't understand my language. Japan's secret of success seems to be in its "people." I got a real sense that Japan's reconstruction and development, 64 years after the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, is in its people. It isn't easy to change people's consciousness but I get the feeling that it can be done.

Chile
Land area: 756,000 km2
Population: 16:59 million
Major language: Spanish
Croatia
Mr. Edo CETINA
Professional Collaborator, Istrian Development Agency

Japan is a country of abundant nature. When you go to the countryside, the greenery and mountains are beautiful. Japanese people are courteous. They always meet you with a smile on their faces. There are many things to eat in Japan. During my time there, I was able to enjoy tempura, sukiyaki, soba and other Japanese dishes. In addition, Japanese products are of high quality, and I'd like to continue using Japanese-made cars and electric appliances in the future.

Croatia
Land area: 56,000 km2
Population: 4.436 million
Major language: Croatian
El Salvador
Mr. Nelson Antonio ALFARO CEA
Specialist in Quality and Productivity, Quality and Technology Unit, Ministry of Economy

I would like to give 10 of my thoughts concerning Japan, Japanese people and my stay in Japan. 1. The development of technology, and in particular of traffic systems, is fantastic. 2. Courtesy. 3. The establishment of social harmony. 4. Mutual respect. 5. The apparent enjoyment experienced by the young. 6. The nature is abundant and beautiful. 7. The beer and sushi are delicious. 8. Communication while out having drinks is important. 9. Everyone is so kind. 10. I was able to meet some wonderful friends among the participants.

El Salvador
Land area: 21,000 km2
Population: 6.85 million
Major language: Spanish
India
Mr. Sindhupathi Raja
Extension Officer, Directorate of Industries, Government of Andaman and Nicobar, Port Blair

In Japan, the infrastructure, such as the roads, bridges and communications, is very developed, and that surprised me.
It's fantastic that those things have been built in the 60 or so years since the end of the World War II. The Japanese are extremely passionate about their work. Plans proceed on time and business matters are always accomplished. However, I got the feeling that while I could learn Japan's technology and then bring it back home, it would difficult to bring back the can-do attitude and culture due to the large differences in culture between Japan and India.

India
Land area: 3,287,000 km2
Population: 1.02702 billion
Major language: Hindi (in addition to 21 other languages)
Pakistan
Mr. Lal DINO
Assistant Director, Board of Investment, Ministry of Investment

My impression is that the Japanese people are orderly and respect others. As Japan is well-organized, it's extremely clean, without a single scrap of paper on the ground, even in train stations. As for education, I was surprised that the school attendance rate is 100%. I feel that although Japanese people experienced war in the past, they have a forward-way of thinking, as they view the future as being better than it was before. Even so, a doubtful point remains, wherein young people aren't getting married so much.

Pakistan
Land area: 796,000 km2
Population: 160.9 million
Major language: Urdu
Saudi Arabia
Mr. Mohammed Khalid M.ALHEZAB
Studies and Information Manager, Technical and Vocational Training Corporation

I was able to figure out an overall picture of Japan through this last visit. As a result, my question, "Why has Japan been successful?" was resolved. For instance, as for the Shinkansen never having any accidents since the time it started operation, I realized that this underscored how Japanese people do things well. I've visited as many as 35 countries of the world, and Japan is special among these. The Japanese are punctual and approach their work seriously. Japanese people have a strong sense of firm respect for others.

Saudi Arabia
Land area: 2,150,000 km2
Population: 24 million
Major language: Arabic
Uzbekistan
Mr. Bahtiyor RAJABOV
Assistant Chairman, Chairman's Office, The State Committee on Demonopolization, Support of Competition and Entrepreneurship

Japan is a capitalist country, but the development of infrastructure and other things had a socialist feel. Japanese culture and people are really fantastic. For example, Japanese people don't say the first thing that comes into their minds, and I felt that the culture behind that is a good thing. I'm left with the impression that the companies of small and medium-sized enterprises can bethought of as families.

Uzbekistan
Land area: 447,400 km2
Population: 27.8 million
Major language: Uzbek