Makanga Benedict (Uganda)
I was privileged to be among those selected to participate in the internship program at the Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan for the period October to December 2016. Being an intern at one of Japan’s most famous and well-respected institutions was a great opportunity I had never dreamt of.
At the FSA, there is a warm, friendly and relaxed atmosphere with a wide range of professional staff. I should mention that the internship program was extremely valuable and one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences I have known. It was great and interesting to see how the knowledge, different techniques and skills I have learnt in my graduate studies at GRIPS can be put to practical use in real life, and how they fit into research and development. Indeed, the internship program gave me valuable work experience whilst complementing my academic interests. Working together with a team of experienced, bright and like-minded people made the internship more interesting. In addition, the continuous and flexible interactions with top policy-makers and analysts at the FSA gave me a deeper insight into various global issues including financial inclusion and supervision, insurance, pensions management and issues related to aging societies.
During my time at FSA, I also had the opportunity to listen to many high profile professionals from the insurance field. I also gained a better understanding of Japan’s labor force, business etiquette and lifestyle, norms that are very crucial for a mid-career professional like me. Of importance, interns at FSA are trusted as valuable members of the team, and the staff members at FSA were extremely helpful and welcoming. The multi-cultural mix of interns and FSA Fellows from over 6 countries made the internship more exciting as we constantly shared our own country experiences while enhancing strong social networks. Of interest also was the practical field work at Nippon Insurance Company, one of Japan’s largest insurance companies, where we interacted with the top management of the company.
To crown it all, FSA organized a social gathering out of town where we had time off work to socialize and brainstorm on various global concerns including poverty, terrorism, international trade and climate change. I am very grateful to GRIPS and the FSA for this exclusive opportunity and firmly believe that the experience I have gained as an intern at FSA will continue to help me for years to come.
Ploysri Amonvatana (Thailand)
I had participated in an internship program at Global Financial Partnership Center, Financial Services Agency (FSA) from March 15-May 9, 2017. This internship program is held annually mainly for financial authorities around the world. Thanks to GRIPS and FSA, it was a rare opportunity for me to experience the real working life in Japan and how the reputable Japanese financial regulator actually worked. The theme of this internship was securities business. Interacting with the real financial regulators and professionals could deepen my understandings and knowledge about Japanese securities business and the roles/operation of the FSA outside the textbooks. Moreover, learning about Japanese securities business and the roles/operation of the FSA in this area are very useful because they can be a good example for further development of Thai capital market.
The structure of the internship consisted of lectures, discussion with experienced financiers, and visiting private company. Throughout the internship, I had gained comprehensive knowledge about Japanese securities business, which included financial instruments, trust business, asset management business, Japan investor protection fund, law related to securities business in Japan and administrative monetary penalty. The topic that I am interested in the most is the trust business. I could learn how the trust business and trust law in Japan developed since the 1920s including the recent trends of the trust business.
It is such a valuable experience for me to participate in this program. Not only that I learned about the securities business in Japan from the experts but I was also able to exchange opinions and build network among participants from around the world. The participants included government officers from Philippines and Brazil. Furthermore, I was able to experience the working atmosphere and culture of Japanese organization. Apart from academic activities, the internship program also arranged extracurricular activities, such as visiting Tohoku prefecture. Last but not least, the staff of the Global Financial Partnership Center was very helpful and friendly.
Tomomi Tanaka (日本)
Ibrahim Zuhuree (Maldives)
I am very thankful to ‘Team Kaiho Sangyo’ for accepting me to learn about Automotive Recycling. I was hosted at their International Recycling Education Centre (IREC). On 5th September, following an introductory meeting (Mr. Kokubun of Nippon Steel & Sumikin Research Institute, and Prof. Takagi on behalf of G-cube program from GRIPS attended the meeting) with the President of the Company Mr. Kondo Takyuki, I attended a lecture by Prof. Kenichi Tsugume (IREC Director) about the venous industry and circular society. In this lecture, we discussed the importance of reduce, reuse and recycling (3R) to address global environmental issues. In particular, we discussed about existing technologies and management procedures to tackle waste management issues facing the Maldives and possible solutions. I also got the opportunity to meet with the Founder and Chairman of the company Mr. Norihiko Kondo. During the four days at Kaiho Sangyo I learned a lot, and below I wish to highlight few points.
First, one of the most significant knowledge I gained from the internship came when Mr. Yamaguchi gave me a detailed tour of the car recycles process, including the inventory and management (KRA) system. In particular, I was impressed by the steps taken to meet the government regulations regarding disposing of engine oil as well as other parts of the car. Through Mr.Yamaguchi I learned that recycling of cars requires detailed knowledge about the materials used in the car. To my surprise, the whole process is very knowledge-intensive and requires elaborate and dedicated work. Indeed, after detail explanation of Mr. Yamaguchi and translation of Mr. Yuki, I finally began to understand the spirit and the efforts Kaiho Sangyo puts to preserve the nature through automotive recycling.
Second, I like to mention about the morning assembly meeting. Although I have heard of such practice in Japan, this was the first time for me to participate in such a gathering. I noticed that the President was already in the hall to greet the employees, and when each employee enters there was spontaneous (and loud) exchange of greetings, which not only creates a climate of discipline and order but also it has a feeling of family atmosphere. Another prominent part of the meeting is an employee sharing a ‘short story’ related to the mission of the company and the feedback received from the supervisors including the Chairman. I believe this meeting in the early morning not only allows dissemination of information among different divisions of the company but also contributes to personal improvements of the employees (e.g., communication skills).
Third, during my internship, I also learned about the importance of the alliance between different recycling companies. In this context, I visited the Tire Recycling and Shredder Plant run by Kaitaigyo Co., Ltd. Moreover, I also observed the biomass recycling technologies used by the Meiwa Co., Ltd. This tour is especially interesting to me because the opportunity allowed me to learn valuable information about the biomass carbonization. Following the tours, the discussions with Prof. Tsugumi was constructive in identifying waste management problems facing the Maldives and identifying specific solutions to that problem. I believe that the information I have obtained, and the technologies I have seen can be used to begin work on a potential project to solve some of the waste management problem facing the islands in the Maldives. Indeed, Kaiho Sangyo has expressed their willingness to extend their knowledge and expertise in developing such a project through JICA.