Japan Field Study Trip

Japan Field Study Trip 2012

27 Sasakawa Fellowship Students consisting of 15 nationalities and Mr. Ton Small, Registrar of WMU got together at the Kansai International Airport in Japan on May 13, 2012 for the Japan Field Study Trip - ten of them came from Korea due to the Field Study Trip in South Korea and the rest came from Malmo, Sweden. They were welcomed by Mr. Shin Ichikawa of OPRF and Ms. Miyo Wada, a tour guide and enjoyed the route to the Ana Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kobe with the beautiful scenery of the city.

After the brief orientation at the hotel, most of the students set off on a trip for an optional tour to observe a training ship, “Ginga Maru” by the cooperation of National Institute for Sea Training Japan. A lecture room, simulator room and other facilities to train the trainees were introduced by the guidance of the Captain, Mr. Yoshiharu Sakamoto and the Chief Officer, Mr. Nobuo Iijima with their warm welcome. Students were so curious about everything they observed in “Ginga Maru” and made a lively questions and answers.

May 14:

Kobe Steel, Ltd.
The students were able to observe the manufacturing procedure of crankshafts and other products at one of the biggest steel manufacturing companies with the products line of ship parts such as shafts, propellers propeller shafts, and more. What made the students interested were the high quality of their manufacturing policy and systematic procedure. It seems to have given them the understanding of how the Japanese marine products are produced with its’ high quality.

Port and Harbor Polytechnic College
Professor Takasaka gave them a lecture to demonstrate the simulation of the logistic movement in a class. The students also had an opportunity to observe the operation of a crane for professional use in a simulator room and experience a cargo simulator as well. The actual operation must have been fun and interesting for the students.

RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science
The students had an opportunity to see the world’s highest computer, “K”, built by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology in collaboration with Fujitsu Ltd. to see Japanese high technology and innovation that could develop maritime technology and other fields in the world. This site visit surely made the students impressed in a certain way.

May 15:

The group departed from Kobe to Hiroshima in the morning of the 15th. They enjoyed the one-hour journey to Hiroshima by taking the Japanese fastest train, bullet train (Shinkansen Train) and moved on to the first site, Mazda Museum. Mazda Motor Co. The museum of Mazda displayed various types of Japanese cars, classic cars, latest cars and also future concept cars. These showed students the history of Japanese cars and the development of Japanese car technology. Not only the exhibition of the historical cars, but also the assembly line in the factory attracted the students. The movement of robots and employees in the factory and their team work seemed to have amazed them.

After leaving Mazda Museum, they got on a high-speed ship, “Setouchi Sea Line” to reach one of the most beautiful World Heritage Sites in Japan called, “Miyajima” where Itsukushima Shrine was located. Although it was unfortunately raining all day, they seemed to enjoy discovering the beauty and the history of Miyajima.
After visiting Miyajima, the students were taken to the Atomic Bomb Dome and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. The Dome itself and related pictures, films, exhibitions, explanations, and other displayed evidence in the museum showed how enormous the damage was. This is the place where people can learn how miserable of those days and also make them keenly realize the importance of peace.

May 16:

IHI Marine United Inc.
After watching the video of company’s overview, Mr. Takezono, General Manager made a welcome speech for the students. Then, they were divided into two groups to observe the shipbuilding yard with the guidance of the people from Production Administration. They watched the manufacturing process of each steel plate to be assembled to a big vessel. There was also a Q & A session which helped them to absorb the manufacturing policy, production scale and other important facts that also helped their understanding of a Japanese shipbuilding company.

Japan Coast Guard Academy
Superintendent Uryu gave a welcome speech and presentation on the outline of the academy was introduced. They explained about their facilities including simulator center for navigation training, training ship, laboratory, library and also their education system. The students also had a wonderful opportunity to encounter and have conversations with the students from the “Asia Coast Guard Junior Officer Course of Japan (AJOC). They seemed to have enjoyed the communication beyond their languages, and it helped to build relationships for future maritime fields.

After the visit on Japan Coast Guard Academy, the students moved on to Hiroshima Airport and fly to Haneda airport (Tokyo International Airport).

May 17:

Kamome Propeller President Hiroshi Itazawa gave the students a warm welcome speech as well as the presentation about the company’s history, background, and the line of their production by using power point, and then, the students were taken to the factory tour. President Itazawa gave a tour by himself for the group, and they were able to observe the manufacturing process of propellers and other associated products. The students were attracted and inspired by his warm hospitality, leadership at his company, and the employees’ commitment to the company.

May 18:

Skull session
The session was presented by the three presenters below at the Hotel Royal Park Shiodome Tower, and main topics to be discussed were something related to MSEA, MET and MLP fields.
  1. Mr. Toshio Hikima (Marine Technical Education Agency)
    • Fundamental problem in MET Field
  2. Ms. Kazumi Wakita (Ocean Policy Research Foundation)
    • How can we develop a coastal management plan which is acceptable to all the sectors / stakeholders?
  3. Mr. Shinichi Hanayama (Ocean Policy Research Foundation)
    • Needs for maintenance of biodiversities in your countries?
bio-invasion through maritime vectors
The first session was led by Mr. Hikima. He brought up the problems of Maritime Education Institutions in Japan, such as shortage of experienced seafarers officers and maritime experienced instructors and other issues were presented.
And the second session was coordinated by Ms. Wakita. The students were divided into some groups and had discussions along the topic themes, “How can we develop a coastal management plan which is acceptable to all the sector / stakeholders?”
In the last session was presented by Mr. Hanayama. He, at the beginning of the session, inquired the following question to the students, “Do you support the need for the maintenance of the biodiversity in your country?” Then, based on the question, discussions were made in each group.
Although this skull session was our first attempt and has never done it before, it actually went very well. Students took initiative in discussing the topic themes and seemed so enjoyable. Holistically, those students had interactive discussions to exchange ideas and develop team work in such short limited time.

Courtesy Visit on Maritime Bureau, MLIT
Students paid a courtesy call on Mr. Masato Mori, Director General of Maritime Bureau, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). Students received a warm welcome by Mr. Mori. Since Mr. Mori used to work at OPRF and was in charge of WMU Sasakawa Fellowship program, he recalled and told the story when he was working for the program. One of the students, Mr. Gamini Wijenayake (Sri Lanka) gave a few words to Mr. Mori as a representative of the students. Then, Mr. Toshiaki Hirase of Safety Standards Division briefly introduced the general information on MLIT. Following that, Mr. Hideaki Saito, Director for International Regulations Safety Standards Division, gave them a lecture on “Marine Environmental Issues at the IMO”. The contents included Co2 Emissions Regulation, Ship Recycling Convention and BWM (Ballast Water Management) Convention. All of his lecture themes were hot topics at IMO; therefore, the students from WMU were also curious about the lecture.

Courtesy Visit on The Nippon Foundation
Students spent a very important and memorable time which they have been waiting for at The Nippon Foundation to meet Chairman Yohei Sasakawa. Students briefly made speeches individually, and after their speeches, Chairman Sasakawa addressed his welcome speech to the students. They were able to know the variety of projects of The Nippon Foundation, his ideas about the Sasakawa Fellowship Program, and feel Dr. Sasakawa’s warm and generous personality. His speech would motivate their future activities in maritime field and gave some positive inspiration to their lives in the countries.
Reception Party
After the opening speech by Mr. Eisuke Kudo, Special Advisor of the Ocean Policy Research Foundation, Mr. Masato Mori, Director General of Maritime Bureau, MLIT gave a speech, and Professor Toshio Hikima, Marine Technical Education Agency made a toast. After the speech as a representative of the students by Ms. Anna Rabotnova, Ukraine, they enjoyed the interaction with the attendees including people from relevant companies in maritime filed, Japan Coast Guard, MLIT, Ambassadors from Embassies and members of the Friends of WMU. During the party, the students presented the WMU school song.

May 19:

Trip to Hakone
The weather was so clear and beautiful on the day they left for Hakone, Kanagawa prefecture. They enjoyed a short cruising in Lake Asino, a beautiful view from a ropeway to reach Owakudani. In the trip, they were able to see the beautiful Mr. Fuji under the blue sky.

During this trip, the student gained new experiences and knowledge related to maritime filed and non maritime filed, and also enjoyed Japanese beautiful nature, historical places, foods. We hope this trip enhanced their experiences for future activities in the maritime field and knowledge about Japanese culture and technology.