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Our Beginnings with JICA Japan Center Operations

PREX was contracted for the operation of JICA’s Japan Center 14 years ago, in 2002.

Ever since its establishment in 1990, PREX has been conducting human resource development training targeted at developing countries. However, contract work from JICA would mean that much of it would be targeted at government officials of different countries. As for PREX, we had networks with private companies in the Kansai region, and wanted to expand the breadth of our activities by conducting training targeted at businessmen.

But on the other hand, PREX also had previous experience with contracting out specialists or conducting visitation training at the Japan Center, which had been operated by affiliated organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since the late 1990s, with Russia as its center. For this reason, PREX saw it as an opportunity to contract the operation of the Japan Center, and this was how PREX began to conduct visitation training.

The importance of interacting directly with business owners

As mentioned in the previous section, one of Japan Center’s pillars is in human resource development of businesspeople, with business owners and entrepreneurs of various countries as their targets.

Participants of visitation training include: (1) Businessmen and entrepreneurs who have completed business courses conducted in their own countries; (2) Specialists such as consultants and university instructors who instruct businessmen and businesses as local lecturers in their own countries; and (3) Staff who are involved daily in running business courses in cooperation with Japanese experts.

For this reason, when PREX prepares visitation training plans, we keep in mind to create a curriculum where participants come in contact with as many practical case studies as possible, tackle various actual challenges as business owners, hear stories directly from presidents who are advancing with their companies daily, and have the chance to exchange opinions and ask questions.

Many participants have visited small- and medium-sized enterprises mainly in Kansai and experienced many eye-opening instances and deep awe through visiting factories and worksites as well as hearing directly from business owners about their stance, business philosophy, and their feelings towards their employees.

Expanding networks through training

Participants in the Japan Center’s visitation training programs include business owners and up-and-coming entrepreneurs who are leading their countries. These promising candidates gained an understanding of Japanese companies and society through their visitation training, and after returning to their home countries they have used this experience in their further endeavors.

We will continue to incorporate creative ideas into our training program so that these encounters with Japanese people, corporations, and society will connect with networks around the world and spread in those respective countries.

(Setoguchi, PREX)
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