From 16 August to 26 August 2023 (inclusive of the three-day training program in Japan), we conducted the Regional Exchange Promotion Program in Singapore and Indonesia jointly with the Japan Intercultural Academy of Municipalities (JIAM) , titled “Overseas Strategy of Local Governments ~Promoting Interregional Exchange with Vibrant Asia~” this year.
Ten local government officials participated in the training program, which included visits to local institutions in Singapore, such as Enterprise Singapore and Temasek Polytechnic (a higher education institution), the Embassy of Japan in Singapore, the Japan Creative Centre (the Japanese cultural center of the Embassy of Japan in Singapore), and other local and Japanese companies. In Indonesia, they visited the Ministry of Home Affairs, Bekasi City Hall (a municipality located east of Jakarta), the Embassy of Japan in Indonesia, JNTO Jakarta Office, and other local and Japanese companies.
While the training program last year was held in only one country, Singapore, this year it was held in two countries, and participants visited as many as 15 sites of study, focusing on various fields such as tourism to Japan, sales channel development, and one-stop centers in local governments.
■ DON DON DONKI (Singapore)
At “DON DON DONKI,” a Japanese supermarket with 16 stores in Singapore, participants visited the actual store and were briefed by a representative on local sales methods and features. The participants inspected the prices of fresh and processed foods imported from Japan, and actively asked questions about the differences between Japan and Singapore with regard to supermarket operations. They also looked for the place of origin of goods, especially the name of the municipality where they came from, so as to get a better understanding of the status of local products overseas.
■ Enterprise Singapore (Singapore)
Enterprise Singapore, a statutory board of the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry that supports companies with ambitions for growth in Singapore, gave a briefing on its activities and initiatives. During the Q&A session, not only the participants but also Enterprise Singapore staff members asked questions about the situation regarding “support for enterprises in Japan,” to which the participants responded.
■ Bekasi City (Indonesia)
Bekasi City Hall, located east of Jakarta and a commuter town of Jakarta, is focusing on the one-stop service window. At the city hall, Bekasi City Hall staff gave a briefing on the one-stop service window. The local government officials who participated in the training also gave a presentation on the initiatives of their dispatched offices and exchanged opinions with each other. The participants also visited the one-stop service window and received explanations from the staff on the procedures being followed. Some participants asked questions about the opening hours of the one-stop service window and its peak hours.
■ Japan Travel Fair 2023 (Indonesia)
The participants visited the Japan Travel Fair 2023 organized by Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) Jakarta Office, which was held at a shopping mall in Jakarta. The site visit was an opportunity for the participants to learn how Japanese local governments and organizations promote themselves overseas by actively asking questions to exhibitors. Some participants stood at their own booths and handed out brochures of their own local governments to visitors, promoting the charms of their respective cities to them.
The training provided an opportunity to deepen our knowledge of Singaporean and Indonesian initiatives, as well as further understanding and being aware of the differences between the two countries in a wide range of fields in both the public and private sectors.