October 13, 2017
Four JICA experts back in Japan after working in various countries were granted an audience with Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino and their daughters, Princess Mako and Princess Kako, on September 1st at the residence of Prince Akishino in Moto-Akasaka, Tokyo. During the meeting the experts reported on their activities abroad.
Returned JICA experts have been granted audiences with Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino in groups of four to five since May 2004. On this 15th such occasion, experts who had worked in Africa, the Middle East and Asia were granted an audience.
The four experts who were granted an audience ( from left Masahiro Hara, Hiroko Miura, Chiyo Mamiya and Minoru Yoshida)
Masahiro Hara, left, with a girl who came up with a logo for the School for All project
•Promoting 'School for All' in Niger
Masahiro Hara (Asuka World Consultants, from Tokyo) worked as chief adviser to the 'School for All' Project in Niger beginning in 2003. The project created a model for improving communication among parents, local residents and teachers, improving mutual understanding and creating better schools. It then spread that model to 40,000 schools in Africa, improving education.
Residents trained as instructors conduct training in sapling production
•Contributing to nature conservation in Madagascar
Hiroko Miura (Ic Net Limited, from Osaka) is the chief adviser for nature conservation projects being carried out in Madagascar since February 2012 and which will continue until March 2018. She established the ‘LIFE’ technique related to conserving nature with residents' help. It has begun to get recognition throughout Madagascar, and is being used by other international aid agencies.
Conducting a tour to encourage the training of resident guides and interaction with residents
•Participatory tourism development in an ancient city in Jordan
Chiyo Mamiya (Kaihatsu Management Consulting, Inc., from Tokyo) led a participatory tourist development project in the ancient city of Al-Salt, Jordan, from September 2012 to May 2017. Taking lessons from the town planning of Hagi, Yamaguchi prefecture, the project advanced tourism development based on the eco museum concept, in which an urban area is conceptualized as a museum.
Holding a fruit processing workshop to help people find a way of making a living besides agriculture
•Working to eradicate narcotics in the mountains of Myanmar
Minoru Yoshida (Japan Association for International Collaboration of Agriculture and Forestry, from Fukuoka) worked as chief adviser to a project to eradicate narcotics in Myanmar for three years beginning in March 2014. The project carried out technical guidance aimed at diversifying ways of making a living, such as by growing substitute crops in mountains where poppies were being cultivated systematically, and improved the capacity of government officials.
•Showing deep interest and broad knowledge, and motivating experts for their future activities
The four experts said Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino, along with Princess Mako and Princess Kako, listened warmly and with great interest as they talked about their individual activities. The experts' comments included the following: "I was deeply impressed when they listened attentively while taking notes." "I admire the breadth of their knowledge and their sharp viewpoints, which were evident when they asked questions about the most important and difficult points of the project." "It motivated me for my future activities."