2019/09/20 08:32

FEATURE

Interview to the President of Pado

FEATURE
Job is a tool. It is not a goal.
I am happy that I can meet different people.
President Kurahashi

Annabelle
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the President of Pado
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Annabelle:

Thank you very much for taking time to cooperate with us.

I would like to hear President Kurahashi’s story starting from his early childhood.

You say that the experience of changing schools during elementary school has helped you in your future. Why is that?

President Kurahashi:
It’s because I learned the technique to get into the loop of conversation of friends and teachers.

By learning these techniques, I was able to sharpen the necessary communication ability in the society.

A>

(I heard that you did not study seriously during your schooldays. Is that true?)

K:
Yes, indeed. I hardly ever studied during my high school days.
At that time, student movements were in active.
The school I attended was high education school, but we rebelled against being forced to study for entrance exams.
But when I was in the third year of high school, I thought this is not good, and started to study. However, I did not want to be seen studying, so I played basketball and other things until late afternoon, and after that I studied till three in the morning.

A:>
(You admirably passed the exam to enter the University of Kyoto. How was your campus life?)

K:
In those days, the student movements were so active that it was not possible to attend classes in a normal way. Therefore club activities were my mainly life
I was into Rallying, so I joined the Automobile club, and I continued to run the car everyday.

I went into grad school, but study did not become the center of my life.

A:
(I see.Now, would you tell me the background of founding the free-paper business?)

K:
After graduating grad school, I got employed to a company called Ebara Corporation and resided in United States for about two years. The experience during that time became the basis of founding the business.
At that time, more than 70% of the families in Japan subscribed the newspaper, but in United States, people did not subscribe newspapers. It was more common to buy it only on Wednesdays and Thursdays which included many coupons.

In those days, there was a trend that things which became popular in USA would also become popular in Japan after 5 or 10 years, so I thought Japanese newspaper situation will be similar in the near future.
This will be in 2005, but the market of advertisements were 5900 billion yen over all, and out of that, newspapers were 1 trillion yen, magazines were 390 billion yen, and fliers were
470 billion yen.

If the newspapers were gone, what will happen to this 1 trillion yen?
At that time, the only infrastructure to give out fliers were the newspapers, but if I could make the infrastructure which cost less than the newspaper, and which can limit the area to advertise, I thought it can replace newspapers.

And, that is the free-paper.

I had an idea that IT will develop rapidly, so there was an expectation that I will be able to do the editing by using computers instead of hands.

In other words, I had an insight that making free-papers will become easy.

A:
(So, that’s the background of issuing “Pado” in 1987. What troubled you in those days?)


K:
I broke down the areas to issue, and made a good media, but I couldn’t get the advertisements.

Free papers were still rare, so it was not easy to be trusted. That was painful.

A:
(Recently, overseas deployment of Japanese companies stands out. Does your company have similar plan?)

K:
"Pado"'s circulation is 12.6 million in Japan now, and this is also registered to Guinness. I am planning to expand the issue regions, and to increase the number of copies without satisfying with the current state. Therefore I will certainly determine to expand overseas in the process.

A:
(What kind of information is published in “Pado?”)

K:
Mostly information which is useful in the daily life for the people who lives in the issue area. We publish information on local restaurants, hair salons, job opportunities, and all sorts of information on living area.

We hand out to families, so the target is mainly on house wives.

Serkan Anilir interview

FEATURE
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The first Turkish astronaut Serkan Anilir was interviewed at Tokyo University. At present, he is working as an assistant researcher at Tokyo university graduate school. His specialist fields are engineering and architecture, but he is able to speak 11 different languages, and is apparently very interested in Japanese history. He has extensive knowledge about a wide range of subjects.
Serkan, when giving advice to children who aspired after him and dreamed of going to space, replied that “Although I am extremely pleased to hear that children aspire after me, I hope that these children study various different fields and widen their own aspect on the world.” He also gave the following advice to foreign students studying in Japan “Even if you find it difficult at first, you must remember that it’s a path that you chose for yourself. I think your time here will certainly become a good experience so you shouldn’t give up no matter what. Also, try to remember that keeping a balance between study and other things is important. For example reading, meeting people, and finding a partner.”
He is a Turkish person himself, but in response to the question ‘is it true to say that you are an international citizen?' He declared “Well, my nationality is Turkish, but I hate making judgments based on race or religion. I suppose in that respect I am indeed an international citizen”.

In closing, let’s look at his favorite phrase. “Mu”(“nothing") is an old Chinese word. If there is neither happiness nor sadness in the world, nothing will occur. If you call “Mu” upon your heart you will succeed. This is what Serkan used to say.

BREAKTHROUGH BUSINESS LEADER

FEATURE
The Foreign Leader Who Manages 2000 Employees
『The Foreign Leader Who Manages 2000 Employees』~INTERVIEW~ Head Executive of the HIS, Mr. SawadaWe interviewed the head of HIS, Mr. Hideo Sawada who advocates the employment of foreign workers.
Vol.8
Interviewer: Miss Kyou
Interviewee: MR Hideo Sawada
The original entrepreneurial venture industry created many opportunities for young people to travel abroad. Mr. Sawada is the founder of HIS, an even bigger and better version of his original entrepreneurial venture, which has expanded to group business enterprise in the areas of tourism, finance, aviation and hotels. Today, he shared his story with our interviewer, Kyou, who is a Chinese student studying in Japan.
My policy is that humans were created on Earth so it is important to maintain the balance between humans and nature.
 
 
Question 1: HIS is best known as a Japanese tour company for traveling abroad. What makes HIS better than other tour companies? What is the appeal of HIS?

Answer 1: We are the best at providing personal travel compared to other companies. If you try to travel alone through other companies it is normally quite expensive. Through HIS, however, the air tickets are very cheap and that’s why it is so popular. Also, the average age of our management staff is in the twenties and thirties. We can hope for further development using the talents of young employees.

Q 2: I found out on the internet that thirty years ago the cost of air tickets for traveling from Tokyo to London cost 700,000 yen but today it costs approximately 80,000 yen, depending on the season. Would you please tell us about your story as a leading pioneer in your industry and about selling cheap air tickets?

A 2: Twenty something years ago it was extremely hard for young people to travel overseas because of the cost. That is why we started selling tickets which were affordable to them. However, because of this generous deal of ours, we encountered many troubles and great pressure from the major tour companies. It was a challenge for us. The biggest problem we had at the time was that, even though we offered a good business deal of half-priced air tickets, it wasn’t easy for us to gain the trust of the customers considering we were a small, unknown tour company. We worked in a very small office with very few staff and we used to hand customers their tickets on the very day they left at the airport. For the first few months, even though some customers came to our office, no one really purchased our tickets. It did, however, gain popularity with the younger age groups and eventually the rumors about our good deals gradually started spreading throughout many travelers and became a widespread fact.
 
 
 

Profile of Hideo Sawada BREAKTHROUGH BUSINESS LEADER

He was born in Osaka, February 1951. After graduating from the Ikuno Technical High School in Osaka, he studied at the Mainz University of Former East Germany between the years of 1973 and 1976. He earned pocket money from working part-time and traveled to over 50 countries in Europe, Middle-East, Africa, South America and Asia. When he came back to Japan he tried to travel again through Japanese travel agencies but every company disappointed him with their extremely expensive fees when compared to those of other countries. Since then he started to differentiate between the tourism system of Japan and that of other countries. In 1980 he established his own tour company called “International Tours” and succeeded in providing his own products, including package tours for individuals to destinations such as India, which was based on the reasonable price of air tickets. He changed the company name to HIS in 1990 and launched on JASDAQ in March 1995. In November 1996, he opened his hotel on the Gold Coast, Australia. In September 1998, he made the headlines by launching Japan’s fourth airline company, “Skymark Airlines”, and started his new business that provided customers with airline tickets that were half the price of other airline companies’ ticket fees. In January 1999, he acquired corporate stock of Kyoritsu Securities Company and became the President of HIS SECURITIES Co, Ltd and aimed to emerge in the finance industry.
 

BREAKTHROUGH BUSINESS LEADER

FEATURE
The Foreign Leader Who Manages 2000 Employees
『The Foreign Leader Who Manages 2000 Employees』~INTERVIEW~ Head Executive of the HIS, Mr. SawadaWe interviewed the head of HIS, Mr. Hideo Sawada who advocates the employment of foreign workers.
Vol.8
Interviewer: Miss Kyou
Interviewee: MR Hideo Sawada
The original entrepreneurial venture industry created many opportunities for young people to travel abroad. Mr. Sawada is the founder of HIS, an even bigger and better version of his original entrepreneurial venture, which has expanded to group business enterprise in the areas of tourism, finance, aviation and hotels. Today, he shared his story with our interviewer, Kyou, who is a Chinese student studying in Japan.
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My policy is that humans were created on Earth so it is important to maintain the balance between humans and nature.
Question 1: HIS is best known as a Japanese tour company for traveling abroad. What makes HIS better than other tour companies? What is the appeal of HIS?

Answer 1: We are the best at providing personal travel compared to other companies. If you try to travel alone through other companies it is normally quite expensive. Through HIS, however, the air tickets are very cheap and that’s why it is so popular. Also, the average age of our management staff is in the twenties and thirties. We can hope for further development using the talents of young employees.

Q 2: I found out on the internet that thirty years ago the cost of air tickets for traveling from Tokyo to London cost 700,000 yen but today it costs approximately 80,000 yen, depending on the season. Would you please tell us about your story as a leading pioneer in your industry and about selling cheap air tickets?

A 2: Twenty something years ago it was extremely hard for young people to travel overseas because of the cost. That is why we started selling tickets which were affordable to them. However, because of this generous deal of ours, we encountered many troubles and great pressure from the major tour companies. It was a challenge for us. The biggest problem we had at the time was that, even though we offered a good business deal of half-priced air tickets, it wasn’t easy for us to gain the trust of the customers considering we were a small, unknown tour company. We worked in a very small office with very few staff and we used to hand customers their tickets on the very day they left at the airport. For the first few months, even though some customers came to our office, no one really purchased our tickets. It did, however, gain popularity with the younger age groups and eventually the rumors about our good deals gradually started spreading throughout many travelers and became a widespread fact.

Profile of Hideo Sawada BREAKTHROUGH BUSINESS LEADER

He was born in Osaka, February 1951. After graduating from the Ikuno Technical High School in Osaka, he studied at the Mainz University of Former East Germany between the years of 1973 and 1976. He earned pocket money from working part-time and traveled to over 50 countries in Europe, Middle-East, Africa, South America and Asia. When he came back to Japan he tried to travel again through Japanese travel agencies but every company disappointed him with their extremely expensive fees when compared to those of other countries. Since then he started to differentiate between the tourism system of Japan and that of other countries. In 1980 he established his own tour company called “International Tours” and succeeded in providing his own products, including package tours for individuals to destinations such as India, which was based on the reasonable price of air tickets. He changed the company name to HIS in 1990 and launched on JASDAQ in March 1995. In November 1996, he opened his hotel on the Gold Coast, Australia. In September 1998, he made the headlines by launching Japan’s fourth airline company, “Skymark Airlines”, and started his new business that provided customers with airline tickets that were half the price of other airline companies’ ticket fees. In January 1999, he acquired corporate stock of Kyoritsu Securities Company and became the President of HIS SECURITIES Co, Ltd and aimed to emerge in the finance industry.

Summary of Professor Asano’s interview

FEATURE
Treasure your every encounter
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Be troubled while you are young, adolescence is not as easy as you think.

It is hard to believe from the calm smile of Professor Asano that he used to be a shrewd governor who carried out many reformations. He is currently supporting outgoing students from Keiou University with his friendly guidance.

“I did not insist to be a governor but, at that time, there was a serious incident in Miyagi and I was requested for the position so I just embraced it. It happened just like that - if young people like you don’t have any goals or dreams right now, there is no need to doubt yourself. I was like that forty years ago. What is important to your life is every encounter you have and how you embrace them or react to them,” said the Professor. For his age it must be challenging to associate with young people who are the same generation as his daughter. However, he wants to take this as a chance to reflect on his own life and share his experiences with them, rather than to teach them as an adult. His ideal way of running things is like the welfare system for disabled people in northern Europe - a system which treats everyone right and equally.

“You may often suffer from the gap between your ideals and the realistic world out there during your school life while you are young. The time of adolescence is not as cool or as easy as you think but it is very important that you fight with your friends or get your heart broken from love rather than being afraid of getting hurt from having deep relationships with others. School life is the precious time when you can socialise with people without being influenced by any of the things out there that can change the way we think about one another and that is why I want young people to treasure their every encounter,” said professor.

His favourite quote is, “To have a spring in your step.” It is good to think ahead about your future but it is also important that you enjoy your moment right here and now.

Long Interview

FEATURE
LongInterview vol.6
“The Importance of Associating With People”We interviewed NHK news reporter Ms. Ito who has a passion for meeting new and interesting people.
Vol.6
Interviewer: Chin Yen Ning
Interviewee: Ms. Toshie Ito
Chin, a student from Malaysia, interviewed Ms. Toshie Ito, who is a NHK newscaster, who spoke softly with a cute smile. She plays an important role as a newscaster for “News Watch 9” on NHK.
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“You are no rose without these thorns.”
It is Mrs. Nagase’s poem who I mentioned earlier, it means that the beauty and discreetness of women can only blossom by having true strength inside.
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Chin – Why did you want to become a newscaster?

Ito – I was actually interested in human communications when I was studying in university so I aspired to be a psychology counsellor. I thought about going to a graduate school but my parents insisted that I get a job so I chose to work instead. I was very fascinated by the beauty of words and communicating with others to create a TV show so I chose to become an announcer, which is also a job where I can be a messenger.

C – What are the upsides and downsides of your job?

I – The upsides are that I can be involved in the communication with a lot of people,  I just love it! But, in reality, there are many downsides as well. The news program that I am currently in charge of is a live broadcast so every word I say gets broadcasted straightaway. The tension of fighting with nervousness to broadcast a message to people who I can’t see has not changed even after so many years. I face a daily challenge with how I can get a message across to viewers while maintaining a good balance. There is a huge responsibility in this job but it gives me motivation to work even harder.
C – What was the most impressive incident or experience?

I – When I was a new face in Okayama, I featured my favourite poet, Kiyoko Nagase in a TV program. I loved her poems and I was looking forward to seeing her so much. Unfortunately, she passed away three months before I could meet her. That made me even more passionate about the program we made. The program was only thirty minutes long but it was definitely one of the most impressive programs that I got involved in. There was also another TV program called “Only Meeting ~ Yaiko and 66 Youngsters~” that I was involved in as a newscaster. We asked young people who had not stepped out of their houses for a long time to come into the studio and tell us what they were feeling. 66 of them came to help us. They gave us so many thoughts and opinions and it was very touching to hear their true feelings from bottom of their hearts.

C – Could you please tell us your favourite word or quote?

I – It’s, “You are no rose without these thorns.” It is Mrs. Nagase’s poem who I mentioned earlier, it means that the beauty and discreetness of women can only blossom by having true strength inside.

C – As a last request, would you please give overseas students a message?
I – Please try to meet as many people as possible while you are staying in Japan. School work is important but you can never understand Japan unless you meet many people and gain from their diverse experiences and opinions.

C – Thank you so much for your time!


WATAMI INTERVIEW

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This month’s interview was with Mr. Watanabe, the CEO of “Watami”. Mr. Watanabe not only manages the “Watami” restaurants, but is also active in the areas of agriculture, NPO activities, nursing care, and ecological protection. He strives for the word “Thank You” and manages his company accordingly, which he says will be the company to receive the most “Thank You” from people around the world. Through his experience in dealing with agricultural and ecological problems, Mr. Watanabe states that in order to solve worldwide problems such as ecodoom and hunger, countries all around the world must act as one. Also another important thing to remember is that each country must help each other, and act toward for a brighter future. Countries must also use some restraint when dealing with these problems. If the countries can act like this, then the problems will be solved. For exchange students, Mr. Watanabe says that they must think why they have come to Japan, and to achieve their goals and dreams. He also states that he will do his best to support the students and to provide good working places, so that exchange students will be able to work and study diligently and that their money and efforts are used to achieve their goals and dreams.

Sumo Wrestler Mainoumi

FEATURE
A graduate of Nihon University College of Economics. He had got a job as a high school teacher in the Yamagata prefecture before graduation, yet he decided to become a professional sumo wrestler despite of the opposition from people around him. He was not able to fulfill the requirement for the pupil examination (back then) since he wasn’t tall enough, so he inserted silicon in his head and passed the examination. In May 1990, he entered the Dewanoumi –beya (Stable). In the same month, he made his debut as a sumo wrestler in the makushita division. In March 1991, he was promoted to the jyuryo [second-division] with the name “Mainoumi” and was promoted to the makuuchi [top division] in September of that year. Although he was the smallest sumo wrestler, he surprised many with techniques such as “nekodamashi” and “hassotobi” and earned the name “the department store for techniques”. Before his retirement in November 1999, he was active and had been awarded the Technique Prize 5 times. These days he has been working as the advertising character for apamanshop and the NHK analyst of the Grand Sumo Tournament.
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Shakespeare, an international student from Brunei, interviewed Mr. Mainoumi regarding sumo and Japanese culture.


Q1:I’m aware that you had always wanted to become a teacher, but what made you become a sumo wrestler?

A1:One of my partners who used to practice sumo with me when I was in university suddenly passed away and I was really shocked. He had always been really healthy and had always wanted to pursue a career in sumo wrestling. After his death, I started to feel that I should pursue my dream. I had thought about becoming a teacher and living a stable life, but at the end, I decided to make my challenge in the sumo world partly because you never know when you’re going to die and partly because I wanted to make my friend’s dream come true. I think what was important was that I made up my mind myself.

Q2:As a small sumo wrestler, there are many obstacles to overcome. How did you over come such obstacles?

A2:Even if you’re not tall enough, as long as you try to find a way to overcome the problem, there must be a way. Many people said that to me, but I think the problem is how you approach it. Of course, I was afraid of big sumo wrestlers, but no matter how big they are, they’re humans as well, so I was certain that there must be a way to beat them.

Q3:Why do sumo wrestlers tie their hair in a topknot and put on awash (sumo wrestler’s belt)?

A3:Sumo is one of the oldest Japanese martial arts. It came to existence about 1400 years ago. At first there were no clear rules, but gradually the ring came to existence and it has evolved to the current form. These days many people regard sumo as a sport, but sumo is actually a form of traditional culture. The customs are unique, and sumo wrestlers do not show any happiness on their face even when they win. Showing consideration and thankfulness to the loser is important, so when the match is over, they “bow” to each other quietly. When they’re in a battle, sumo wrestlers fight each other with a strength that can probably kill the opponent. However, once the result has been decided, the winning side does not act big and the losing side does not become jealous. They respect each other. This is a marvellous custom of sumo.

Q4:What has become a memorable event to you as an entertainer?

A4:I taught kinds sumo in a place in Bhutan which was an elevation of 200m. At that time, I got altitude sickness and I had a really hard time. There was neither electricity nor radio, but everyone grew rice and vegetables together and people were really pure. In a way they were really affluent. When I was with them, I felt like my mind was purified and I was really happy.

Q5:Please say a few words to foreign students.

A5:I hope that everyone can have a strong will and achieve his/her initial goals. Also, if you participate in exchanges, I think you can gain a deeper understanding of your own culture while learning about the Japanese culture.

Q6:Finally, please tell us about your cherished motto.

A6:“Never forget one’s kindness and never talk about what you have obliged”. That is, never forget what others have done for you and never talk about what you have done for others.
Please work hard to make your dreams come true.

Thank you for your time.