JFTC Essay Competition

Words from Winners of JFTC Essay Competition 2014

I am deeply honored to receive the grand prize in this contest and I am grateful to Japan Foreign Trade Council for this award. I take this as acceptance of my views and opinions toward Shosha. I feel like I have contributed to a very important issue, even though this contribution of mine is just a drop in an ocean. This award is important for me as I t has increased my confidence to express my views on important issue like future of Shosha. This award will continue to act as catalyst for me and will continue to encourage me in my future endeavors.

Receiving award in the presence of the distinguished guests was great experience for me. I am very thankful to Japan Foreign Trade council for great hospitality during award ceremony. I wish more and more contestant from Japan and around the world will take part in this contest in future.

What made me apply for JFTC Essay Competition
I got information about the essay contest via internet. I thought it was definitely worth trying. When I saw topics of this year, I found these topics as issues deeply related to present Japanese economy. Expressing own opinion on such an important issue was a challenge. But I took up this challenge with great enthusiasm. I chose the first topic which is related to Shosha.
When I started to collect resources related to Shosha, I could understand how and why Shosha is significant factor in Japanese economy. I thought that my suggestion regarding the future growth of Shosha shouldn’t be limited to business perspective. So I added the element of social responsibility and tried to express my opinion on the importance on the balance between these two factors.

I have enjoyed the process of writing which not only challenged me to come up with new ideas and opinions but also increased my understanding about the very significant aspect of Japanese economy.

Shahadave Shrestha (Nepal, age 33)

私はこれまで欧米4か国(フランス、ベルギー、ルクセンブルク、アメリカ)での海外生活において、 現地の人々との交流により、様々な国民性、価値観、文化に触れ合う機会がありました。特にルクセンブルク滞在時には、様々な人種が共存する社会で働くことで、「内なるグローバル化」の流れを目の当たりにしてきました。このような海外で経験したことに基づく持論に対し、最高の栄誉を与えてくださったことにつきまして深く感謝申し上げます。今後はこの賞を糧に社会に少しでも貢献できるよう、更なる精進を重ねる所存です。最後に、このような提言の機会をご提供いただいた日本貿易会の方々に改めて御礼申し上げます。

What made me apply for JFTC Essay Competition

Hiroaki Matsuyama (Japan, age 49)

I thank the JFTC for the Honor bestowed upon me in the Solemn Ceremony by awarding the Prize for Excellence. The honor was greater when I learnt the Judges and selection committee were from diverse yet fundamental disciplines that matter in the future of Japan and its place in the world. I thank the judges and selection committee for selecting my essay which had sentiments from the heart and plans from the head. I thank Inabata Corporation for the support and understanding the officers provided me.

The very idea of the JFTC holding such a competition is testimony to the openness and receptiveness to ideas from around the world. I believe the JFTC, its members and policy makers would derive concepts and plans from all the thoughtful essays submitted this year. I strongly believe that ideas and the healthy nurturing of the right ones presented this year would help Japan grow, lead and succeed.

What made me apply for JFTC Essay Competition
Firstly, it was the announcement, made through our INABATA Corporate Website, which brought my attention to the JFTC Essay Competition. Secondly, the title; ‘Toward Developing Japan’s “Resources” by 2020: A Strategy for Utilizing Them for the Benefit of the World’ was fitting as I had been thinking for a while as to why Japan was not taking a leadership role in the world in spite of its stature and fortitude. The title made a lot of sense to me as I was mulling over the all the requirements for deploying Self-Sustaining, Modularized, Quality of Life projects around the world. I was thinking separately of the said projects from the aspects of funding, technology, business growth, longevity and social responsibility. It was easy for me to integrate both my root thoughts, of Japan’s stature and the Project ideas to form the core of the essay. I wrote the essay as if I were laying out a plan to build upon. I sincerely and objectively believed in my proposed plan due to the current happenings, trends, urgencies and contexts from around the world. Knowing the history of Japan, its sustaining culture of benevolence and matching business practices helped me form the bridges between the core anchors in the essay. All the above factors, attributes and my experience of Japan made me apply for the essay competition. The title gave the motivation and indeed catalyzed the action of framing the narrative, for Japan to seize this opportune moment and lead.

Ramesh Subbaraman (U.S.A., age 58)

It was a great honour to see my essay rewarded. I am grateful to the JFTC for the recognition my work received and for organising this competition.

The international nature of this contest affords an excellent arena for debate surrounding Japan and its future. Voices from inside and out of Japan can be heard and discourse strengthened.

Meeting the other prize winners, reading their work and learning their stories was an enlightening experience which would not have been possible without this contest.
Greater opportunities for the exchange of dialogue increase possibilities for positive change to emerge. The JFTC Essay Competition plays a praiseworthy role in this regard. I hope it continues long past its tenth anniversary.

What made me apply for JFTC Essay Competition
When I considered my chosen essay title I recognized ideas that I had contemplated previously and was enthusiastic to explore further.  I felt that I had something to contribute and would regret not pursuing my interest.
I am positive about the chance that the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games offer Tokyo and Japan to showcase its best qualities.  With some clever promotion I passionately believe that Japan can employ elements of its culture to reach new markets and be a force for good.

Simon Campbell (U.K., age 34)

First of all I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Selection Committee for choosing my essay for the Special Prize. I would also like to thank to the entire organization for providing me an opportunity to come to Japan and meet your beautiful culture. Every single part of this journey made me a better person. I believe that the true value of this competition lies in the possibility that we were given, the possibility to express our thoughts and ideas for a better world and future.

What made me apply for JFTC Essay Competition
Even though I am a student of law, I do not let this fact restrain me in acquiring knowledge in different areas of life. I saw this essay competition as an opportunity to learn a lot, not only about Japan and its economy, but also about world's future. I decided to embark on this beautiful journey and started researching. I collected so much information that I realized I had to communicate my findings and ideas to others. I believe that all winners wrote essays that convey beautiful messages to the world, and it is important that the world starts listening. I decided to write this essay because I realized that JFTC allows everyone to be heard. Thank JFTC once again for everything!

Lejla Hodžić (Bosnia and Herzegovina, age 19)