I think it was when I was in my third year at university. I saved money from a part-time job and went overseas with a university friend. We went to Cebu Island in the Philippines. We were of course attracted by the blue sea and the sun that would tan us, but during the time we were there, from the moment we left the airport to the moment we returned to the airport, we were profoundly stimulated by the Philippine people who lived life to the full and the Philippine air that we experienced through all our senses. This was the time when I realized I wanted to work at a job in the future where I could help the people of developing countries lead a better life, so I joined a trading company.
My first overseas post was in Malaysia, a country that was then (and still is) wealthier than the Philippines. When I was in Malaysia, it was in the midst of economic growth. The new international airport in Sepang, the Petronas Twin Towers, and the KL Tower were under construction, and hosting the Commonwealth Games and other major events were daily in the news. During such times, I was fortunate to work on a project related to the new airport and on another project that helped to build a telecommunications infrastructure in Malaysia.
My second overseas post was in Bangkok, Thailand, which, along with Malaysia, was also popular among employees of Japanese companies. During my time in Thailand, I experienced the “Red-shirt demonstrations” (anti-government protests) and the severe flooding of 2011. It was extremely difficult to respond to these events, but we were able to form strong bonds with customers and other company members, and now we still sometimes get together to talk about our good memories of those times.
In Bangkok, I gained experience managing projects for an IT-related service provider with about 50 employees (of whom less than 10% were Japanese and more than 90% were Thai). I think I learned a lot as a businessman through my experience managing a small-to-medium-sized company. Since there was a CTO in the company, I was not very much involved with technical matters, but this experience was extremely valuable for me because, being a small company, I was involved in almost everything else, including business planning, sales, financial matters, legal affairs, and general administration. While I was posted there, one of the company’s aims was to expand overseas from Thailand into Vietnam and Indonesia, setting up subsidiaries in those locations, and we all worked hard together whether we were Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, or Japanese. I think having made contacts like these through this experience has become a great asset.
So those have been my points of contact with other countries. Now, as a certified administrative procedures legal specialist, I aim to take advantage of the ideas and experience I gained through my involvement with other countries, mainly ASEAN countries, and assist people from overseas who are engaged in work or studies in Japan and also Japanese people who are providing an environment for people from overseas who are living in Japan.
I look forward to providing my professional services to clients both in Japan and other countries and hearing their expressions of appreciation.