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JITCO Convention -Developing People, Exchanges and Friendship

October 2010
Japan International Training Cooperation Organization (JITCO)

 The JITCO Convention on "Developing People, Exchanges and Friendship" was held at Keidanren Kaikan (located in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) on Friday, October 1, with an attendance of some 300 participants.

Mr. Michiaki Sada, Executive Vice President of JITCO
Mr. Michiaki Sada, Executive Vice President

 Mr. Michiaki Sada, Executive Vice President of JITCO, gave a status report of the Technical Intern Training Program and Industrial Training Program by presenting statistics of the acceptance of trainees and technical intern trainees.
 Mr. Sada noted that the number of trainees had been declining in recent years due to the worldwide economic recession, but following some temporary fluctuations during the transitional period until the recent enforcement of the revised immigration law, he explained that the number of trainees has picked up in August and now records an increase over the previous year. Mr. Sada also reported on the performance of JITCO's native language consultation service and guidance visits, and called on all parties to strengthen their efforts to provide proper guidance and supervision as a measure to prevent wage and health-related troubles.
 Additionally, Mr. Sada expressed concern about brain and heart diseases and traffic accidents, which are the leading causes of fatalities among trainees and technical intern trainees, and urged all parties to focus greater efforts on taking preventive measures against fatal accidents.
 Next, Mr. Sada introduced JITCO's new initiatives and programs, which include the publication of various printed materials, a program for the dispatch of instructors specializing in legal protection issues, and a new support system for the preparation of various application documents, and recommended that they be used actively to facilitate the acceptance of trainees.
 In closing, Mr. Sada requested everyone's support and cooperation in developing the new Technical Intern Training Program, which commenced in July, into a well-respected program.

Mr. Robert Campbell
Mr. Robert Campbell

 Following Mr. Sada, Mr. Robert Campbell, a familiar face on NHK's education program "J Bungaku," took the podium and gave a presentation on "living in Japanese."
In his usual soft-spoken and easy-to-understand speaking style that he displays on TV, Mr. Campbell spoke about the role of the Japanese language in establishing heart-to-heart communication, through examples of Japanese expressions found in Meiji Era and contemporary literature.
 He began his speech by talking about his personal background and sharing memories of his struggle to learn the Japanese language. He drew parallels between his experience and the situation that foreign technical intern trainees face, and stressed that "language acquisition is a lifelong asset" as a message of encouragement.
 Mr. Campbell then explained what it means to "live in Japanese." In a sense, he said that living in Japanese means to value the subtle power of communication that comes from within and overrides all rules of grammar and usage. To achieve this appreciation, he encouraged everyone to gradually build Japanese skills that are uniquely their own.
 Mr. Campbell furthermore gave examples of Japanese expressions in poetry written by Bokusui Wakayama, a Meiji Era tanka poet, to describe the ambiguousness of the Japanese language and its wonderful power to incite readers to visualize diverse scenes in their minds.
 Lastly, he concluded his speech with words of inspiration to all participants. He encouraged them to study the rich, emotional expressions that are still much alive in classical Japanese literature as a way to acquire the ability to communicate with the heart and widen their circle of friends and acquaintances.
 During his presentation and subsequent Q&A session, Mr. Campbell passed the microphone to the audience many times and enjoyed exchanging views with them, and held their attention until the very end.
 After a brief intermission, award ceremonies were held for Outstanding Accepting Organizations and the 18th Japanese Composition Contest winners.
 The Outstanding Accepting Organization Award is presented to accepting organizations and companies that have contributed to the smooth and continuous implementation of the Technical Intern Training Program and have produced significant results in line with the program's objectives and goals. In addition to promoting further efforts on the part of winning organizations and companies, the award also encourages other accepting organizations and companies to enhance their efforts for the program. This year, five organizations and one company were chosen as winners of the award from among many candidates.

☆Award winners (in alphabetical order)
[OrganizationsJA] JA Aichiminami (Aichi Pref.)
  Fukuoka Joho Business Cooperative (Fukuoka Pref.)
  Okhotsk International Personnel Exchange Cooperative (Hokkaido Pref.)
  Shimaneken Chuo Apparel Cooperative (Shimane Pref.)
  Nishinihonkougyou Cooperative (Tottori Pref.)
[Companies] Nippon Seiki Co., Ltd. (Niigata Pref.)

At the ceremony, Mr. Isao Fujimura, Representative Director of Fukuoka Joho Business Cooperative, and Mr. Igarashi, Senior Manager of Nippon Seiki Co., Ltd., spoke on behalf of the award winners and gave an account of their efforts related to the acceptance of trainees.
The award ceremony for the 18th Japanese Composition Contest took place next.
Details of the ceremony are provided in a separate article.