J.CLAIR Singapore successfully held an exchange seminar on public measures with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (hereafter, UPLB) on October 8th. The main aim of this program is to enable our staff members to nurture deep insights into Japanese local autonomy systems and international affairs through conducting a series of presentations in English and through interaction with people in educational institutes overseas.
The University of the Philippines, whose representatives kindly supported this project, was established as the first national university in 1908. UPLB is its campus located south of the capital city of Manila and it boasts lush greenery in its premise. It specializes in various academic fields such as Agriculture, and Public Affairs and Development. In addition, the school has a long history of collaborative relationships with Japanese universities. Specifically, Nagoya University’s Asian Satellite Campus in the Philippines can be found here, and it has been running student exchange programs in collaboration with universities in Japan such as Tokyo University of Agriculture and Doshisha University.
After a four-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the seminar was attended both on-site and online by more than 40 students and 10 professors mainly from the College of Public Affairs and Development.
1. Presentations by J.CLAIR staff members
Prior to the seminar, J.CLAIR and UPLB had discussed about the themes that should be covered in this program and it was finally decided that topics relating to the three broad themes of “disaster risk governance”, “local government entrepreneurship” and “local government innovations pertaining to tourism development” would be most interesting to the audience. Accordingly, J.CLAIR staff prepared their presentation contents along those themes.
On the day of the exchange program, Deputy Executive Director Mr. Yamamoto Takahiro first explained about J.CLAIR Singapore’s activities and the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Programme. Following that, three Deputy Directors dispatched from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Akita Prefecture and Aichi Prefecture delivered public policy presentations about “Supporting Startups in Tokyo”, “Japan’s Local Tourism Promotion Strategies”, and “Aichi Prefecture’s Flood Control Measures” respectively. The program was highly effective as we saw all attendees to be very keen to understand Japanese local authorities’ public policy and policy situation in Japan.
2. Panel discussions between J.CLAIR and UPLB representatives/attendees
A panel discussion was held after the presentations. In this discussion, the attendees were spontaneous in posing questions and responding to the contents of the presentations such as the correlation between tourism development and over tourism, startup-supporting schemes in suburban areas, information dissemination to foreign residents, etc.
J.CLAIR’s speakers also interacted actively with the attendees. Even though some questions were very tough to answer as they were about holistic policies of Japan and personal opinions, our speakers successfully managed to respond to all the questions. After the program, we received favorable feedback from the UPLB representatives, thus we strongly believe that the overall event was fruitful for both the presenters and attendees.
3. Further collaborations in the future
In the occasion of the event, representatives of the UPLB expressed their interests for further cooperation in the future. Through various activities, J.CLAIR Singapore will continue to strive to build and strengthen networks with related organizations in ASEAN, India, and Sri Lanka, and will contribute to overseas activities of Japanese local governments.