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Learning Lessons from Japan Experience

In the wrapping up session on the final day, each participant gave a presentation on “lessons learnt from Japan during the training program”, which was later to be elaborated and accounted in the completion reports each participant submitted. They indicated their own highlights of the training program, interestingly varying in themes depending on his/her professional expertise. All of them highly appraised the rich contents of the overall program and wished it would continue every year from now on.

As the first attempt to deliver such training course for the alumni of the JJ/WBGSP, it indeed illustrated the importance of life-long learning and network building. While achieving its set objectives, that is to provide alumni of the JJ/WBGSP who studied outside Japan an opportunity to learn lessons from Japan and its experience, this training program also generated motivation for each participant to strive further in their professional career and a sense of linkage that we are all working to make a better future of the entire world through learning from each other and thinking together. The JJ/WBGSP is grateful to the Government of Japan for their continuous support.

Posada Molina, Jerson Rogelio,
el Salvador
MA in Development Economics at Williams College, United States, Year of Graduation 2005

 Posada Jerson

“The lessons learned that are unique to Japan, which I think would benefit the development of other countries, are the business model, the importance of education opportunities at all levels (primary education, higher education and corporate basic education), promoting research and development in different industries, the sharing role between private and public sector, the national innovation system, the industrial policies including the industry cluster plan, intellectual cluster plan and industry-government-academia partnership plan, and the businesses incubators. Also the unique values of Japanese people including determination, solidarity, discipline, integrity, leadership and pride for their country and traditions are determinant in the process of development.

The training course provided me with a wide understanding not only about the lessons which drove the country to be one of the leading nations in the world but also with an understanding about Japanese cultural factors which has been transcendental for the development reached, and allowed me the opportunity to establish direct contact with daily Japan life (economy, people, traditions). Now back in my country I will be able to replicate the new knowledge, provide advice to the authorities in the Ministry of Finance, prepare technical documents and propose economic policies applying the lessons learnt which are beneficial for my country letting me serve as a vehicle to implement strategies oriented to improve the economic development of my country.”

Vallejos Castillo, Janett Maribel, Perú
MIA in Economic Policy Management at Columbia University, United States, Year of Graduation 2005

 Vallejos Castillo, Janett

“When I decided to apply to the course, I was expecting to have a closer view of Japan’s economic policy and its experience with the last financial crisis. I also was trying to learn more about the role of the public sector in the economic performance of Japan. In particular, the objectives I had before attending the training program were related to: how Japan could find the way for a rapid progress and growth; what particular policies Japan undertook for this economic success; to what extent the financial system can be used as a tool to assist the development of selected sectors or industries; and the combination between Japan’s general macro economic policies that set an adequate economic environment, and its industrial policy and the role it played in Japan’s economic development. I have found answers to most of the questions I had at the beginning regarding the Japanese development process. The training course in Japan was an invaluable opportunity to learn, not only about Japanese development process, but also about Japanese philosophy of entrepreneurship.

I addition to my current position at the Superintendency of Banking and Insurance, I am also part-time professor at Pacific University in Lima, teaching Microeconomics at the undergraduate level. The short-training course in Japan will also contribute enormously with this job. First of all, the motivation I got from the meetings with the CEO of Shimadzu and the people of Panasonic made me realize the importance of having inspired people to get success. I am trying to transmit this spirit to my students, since they are the future entrepreneurs and managers of the country.

The lessons I learned from the short term course have served me as an inspiration to be better and look for excellence. I found out that the Japanese society is based over strong values, such as commitment, love for the cultural side, respect and modesty, which were key factors to achieve its success.”

Urustemov, Seilbek,
Kyrgyz Republic
Masters in Development Economics at Williams College, United States, Year of Graduation 2006

 Urustemov, Seilbek

“I considered the training course as a good opportunity to learn from Japan’s development experience, to meet in person people who are directly involved in development strategy formulation and implementation, to discuss issues related to Japan’s development with other alumni. I also expected that course participants share their own experiences in their countries development. The course program was intensive and interesting. All lectures, meetings we have had were in the line of main topics of the course. I appreciate informal discussions between course participants and organizers we were having during lunch breaks and between course events. Those discussions revealed that on the one hand developing countries in general have almost the same problems, but on the other hand there is no unique solution of these problems.

The country’s development is based on three main pillars: the growth led by the Government, entrepreneurship, and management system. The economic growth stems from high rate of private savings promoted by the Government. Real sector relies on innovations, research and development activity. A combination of so-called Keiretsu system and small and medium enterprises also provides the country with sustainable basis for the growth. Enterprises emphasize investments in knowledge thinking not only about current profit and growth but also about creation that could them survive in the era of agile competition.

I would like to thank the Government of Japan and the World Bank for the opportunity to gain knowledge in a leading school of the United States, Williams College, for supporting me on my way to a professional goal – to become a good policymaker, for giving me a chance to meet nice and promising people from different parts of the world.”

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