(For the Japanese version of this article)

KOCHI & EHIME Asia Industrial Tour (FY2008) [November 12-14, 2008]

KOCHI & EHIME Asia Industrial Tour (FY2008)


Outline


An exchange project for Asian foreign diplomats residing in Japan called “IIST Asia Industrial Tour in Kochi & Ehime” was held from November 12th (Wednesday) to 14th (Friday), 2008 in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The goal was to promote understanding of industries particular to the Shikoku region, such as a technology development project in Muroto, Kochi Prefecture that effectively utilizes deep seawater resources. The program focused on the 2 large prefectures, Kochi and Ehime, and introduced economic and industrial conditions in those areas.

Dates: November 12 (Wednesday) - 14 (Friday)
Organized by: Institute for International Studies and Training (IIST)
Supported by: Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
In cooperation with: Shikoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry, Kochi Prefectural government, Ehime Prefectural government, JETRO Kochi, JETRO Ehime
Place: Kochi Prefecture , Ehime Prefecture


Participants


16persons (For details, please see bottom of page.)


Visited places


-Aqua Farm run by Muroto City
-AKO KASEI Co., Ltd. in Muroto City
-Guided Tour to Local Market and Kochi Castle
-MIROKU Co., Ltd. in Nangoku City
-TANIGUCHI HEAT TREATMENT Co., Ltd. in Saijo City
-Ehime Prefecture
-NIHON SHOKKEN Co., Ltd. in Imabari City


Overview


The first day of the tour was spent learning about deep seawater in Muroto City, which has brought great economic success to that city. The participants not only were given a briefing by officials from Kochi Prefecture, but they also gained greater understanding of deep seawater by visiting places in Muroto City including Aqua Farm, with its water intake and diversion facilities, and AKO KASEI Co., Ltd., sales company of the deep seawater products. The participants learned the facts about this important industry that supports local employment in Muroto City. Since 1995, Kochi Prefecture has permitted deep seawater diversion to the private sector, which has since developed to a prefectural industry related to deep seawater of various produces worth over 10 billion yen. The visitors acquired a new awareness of the possibilities of leveraging natural resources -nature’s gifts-for business. In addition, their interest in products utilizing deep seawater was heightened by taste testing deep seawater products and imo kenpi, a local snack made from sweet potato.
On the second day, the participants visited MIROKU Co., Ltd. in Nangoku City. The company has manufactured a variety of products to meet the needs of the times, from the original whaling guns and hunting rifles in the past to automotive components (primarily steering wheels for high-end vehicles) at the present. MIROKU does not simply make ‘products,’ but creates ‘works of art.’ The visitors were highly impressed with the history and philosophy of the company, which possesses a strong commitment to craftsmanship. They also were able to see first-hand the manufacturing line process rooted in detail-oriented inspections and techniques that can only be carried out by humans, not machines. They also deepened the outstanding of technical capabilities and dedication to the manufacturing process of Japanese corporations.
Next, the tour moved to Ehime Prefecture, where participants visited TANIGUCH HEAT TREATMENT Co., Ltd., a company that was chosen as one of “300 dynamic small and medium-sized manufacturing companies.” While it is a small-scale operation, it became a leading producer of high-level heat treatment technology by emphasizing research and development. Participants admired the technological capability and the high employees’ skill levels. Later, they made a courtesy call to the Governor of Ehime Prefecture at the Ehime Prefectural Government Office, and were given a briefing by managers to enhance their understanding of the economic circumstances in Ehime Prefecture.
On the final day of the tour, the participants visited NIHON SHOKKEN Co., Ltd. to learn about food processing and the company’s development. In 1971, the company began with only a few people but has expanded to have 141 offices in Japan and 11 overseas. They learned a great deal from the company’s growth process and were impressed with the positive preparations made for their tour of the company plant.
This tour introduced corporate facilities representative of Kochi Prefecture and Ehime Prefecture where visitors viewed company initiatives and learned about their growth processes. They also appreciated the strengths of small and mid-sized companies that have succeeded in regional economy through original technology development and principles. Many of the participants expressed a desire to build cooperative partnerships with the companies they visited to help the economic development in their countries. For instance, one person hoped that individuals from other Asian countries could be dispatched to Taniguchi Heat Treatment for training.
A lively mutual exchange of ideas took place between the participants and local representatives during the session to interact with the regional Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry and individuals involved in regional industries in both Kochi Prefecture and Ehime Prefecture. Participants stated that this program gave them the chance to hold discussions and was useful in creating relationships that further strengthen and encourage future cooperative partnerships between Asia and Japan.
Moreover, the local media took a strong interest in this program. It was featured in 1 newspaper in Kochi Prefecture (The Kochi Shimbun), 2 newspapers in Ehime Prefecture (The Ehime Shimbun, the Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun), and 2 television stations (NHK, i-TELEVISION Inc.).

Visit to AKO KASEI Co., Ltd. (Muroto City, Kochi Prefecture)

Visit to AKO KASEI Co., Ltd. (Muroto City, Kochi Prefecture)

At Kochi Castle (Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture)

At Kochi Castle (Kochi City, Kochi Prefecture)


Visit to TANIGUCHI HEAT TREATMENT Co., Ltd., Shikoku Plant (Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture)

Visit to TANIGUCHI HEAT TREATMENT Co., Ltd., Shikoku Plant (Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture)

A courtesy call on the Governor of Ehime Prefecture (Ehime Prefectural Government Office)

A courtesy call on the Governor of Ehime Prefecture (Ehime Prefectural Government Office)


Visit to NIHON SHOKKEN Co., Ltd. (Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture)

Visit to NIHON SHOKKEN Co., Ltd. (Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture)


Participants


-His Excellency Mr. Ashraf-ud-DOULA (Bangladesh)
Ambassador
Embassy of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

-Mr. Mahadi MAIDIN (Brunei)
Charge d’Affaires a.i.
Embassy of Brunei Darussalam in Japan

-Ms. LI Qian (China)
Second Secretary
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

-Dr. Thadathil PANKAJAKASHAN (India)
Counsellor (Science and Technology)
Embassy of India

-Mr. Virasac SOMPHONG (Laos)
Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission
Embassy of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic

-His Excellency Dato' Mohd. Radzi ABDUL RAHMAN (Malaysia)
Ambassador
Embassy of Malaysia in Japan

-Mr. Erdenedavaa LUVSANTSEREN (Mongolia)
First Secretary
Embassy of Mongolia in Japan

-His Excellency Mr. Hla Myint (Myanmar)
Ambassador
Embassy of the Union of Myanmar

-Mr. Imtiaz AHMAD (Pakistan)
Charge d’Affaires a.i.
Embassy of Pakistan

-Mr. Mauino HARESCO (Philippines)
Commercial Counsellor
Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines

-Mr. Ethan CHUA (Singapore)
First Secretary
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore

-Mr. Rathnayake DISSANAYAKE (Sri Lanka)
Minister Counsellor (Commercial)
Embassy of Sri Lanka

-Mr. Jullapong THAVEESRI (Thailand)
Minister Counsellor (Industry)
Office of Industrial Affairs, Royal Thai Embassy

-Mr. Julio da Costa Freitas (Timor-Leste)
Second Secretary
Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

-His Excellency Mr. NGUYEN Phu Binh (Viet Nam)
Ambassador
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

-Ms. NGUYEN THI THUY Van (Hanoi)
Chief Representative
Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Hanoi City Representative Office



International Exchange Dept.

(For the Japanese version of this article)


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