JFTC Essay Competition

Words from Winners of JFTC Essay Competition 2013

I feel very honored and privileged to receive the Prize for Excellence of the JFTC Essay Competition. I am deeply grateful to the JFTC for organizing the competition. This wonderful award gives me great encouragement and confidence. The topic of the competition is very relevant for everyone - What innovation or industries should be fostered to stimulate the Japanese economy in the medium- and long-term? -. This competition provides to me an excellent opportunity to give a deep consideration on such an important question.

What made me apply for JFTC Essay Competition
A particular motivation led me to participate in this competition. The JFTC competition is quite unique in that it is open to everyone, non-restricted over age, background, and nationality, and acceptable in both English and Japanese. Such uniqueness allows inviting many participants from every corner of the world. That drew my attention, and inspired me to write an essay in a foreign language.

Tetsuo Mizunuma (Japan, age 34)

First and foremost, I am very honoured and grateful to have been selected for the Prize of Excellence and I will like to thank the JFTC essay judging committee as well as the organising team. Indeed, this competition has a great stage for us to voice our views and opinions on the current challenges faced by Japan and it is wonderful that JFTC has invited participants from all over the world to contribute their ideas regardless of nationalities and age. In addition, this competition goes beyond academic research and excellence, for it is also an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded peers from across the world. I have made good friends during the ceremony and we can all agree that the organising committee has done a great job hosting us! Thank you!

What made me apply for JFTC Essay Competition
I had a keen interest in the Japanese culture since young and eventually, I developed an interest in the current affairs of Japan. As I came across the competition online and read the topic, I felt compelled to participate as I was touched within. The lost decade has been disappointing to say the least, but I believed strongly that the challenges faced by Japan in the revitalization of her economy are not insurmountable. I sought to provide more interesting and novel perspectives and done up my research to substantiate my ideas. I have enjoyed the process of writing this essay and being selected for the prize was a pleasant bonus. I hope that we can all contribute more ideas for the next round and enjoy the essay competition as well!

Ow Yam Huo (Singapore)


What made me apply for JFTC Essay Competition

Ryuichiro Izumi (Japan)

I am truly honored for my essay to be selected as the Selection Committee Chair’s Special Prize. Receiving the award certificate and attending the New Year Reception was one of my most memorable experiences in Japan. I would like to thank the Japan Foreign Trade Council for organizing this international essay competition. It was a truly awarding experience for me, the whole process of writing the essay, meeting the other winners and socializing with various professionals. I wish for the continuous success of all future JFTC Essay Competitions.

What made me apply for JFTC Essay Competition
When I read about this year’s topic, one idea got stuck inside my mind. Being a self proclaimed girl otaku, I could not stop thinking about what made me crazy about this country, the Popular Culture. Thus I attempted to write about Cool Japan Strategy via my experiences as a foreign J-Pop lover. I enjoyed the entire process of writing the essay as I constantly learn new things about Japan and my home country. Being an otaku has its own perks (being selected as a winner was one) and has taught me to analyze issues from different angles. I look forward to reading future winning essays as part of my educational benefits. Thank you JFTC and staff for your kind hospitality during my stay in Japan.

Yong Soo Teng (Malaysia)