Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Japan - India Friendship Year

The logo here symbolises the friendship that the two Asian giants are embarking on. The foundation for celebrating the Japan - India Friendship Year was laid way back in 2005 by the then PM Koizumi. The logo typifies the blend of the "best of both countries" and is expected to reap rich dividends for all its stakeholders. The extract below provide more information about this initiative and is referenced from the website of Japan Foundation. Like they say....slow and steady always wins the race. Amen to that.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited India in April 2005, where he signed the joint statement "Japan-India Partnership in a New Asian Era" with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. They also issued the "Eight-Fold Initiative for Strengthening Japan-India Global Partnership" as an action plan for realizing what was written in the joint statement.

In the initiative, based on a shared awareness of the importance of increased cultural, academic, and people-to-people exchanges for the development of closer bilateral relations, the prime ministers agreed on conducting various programs to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Cultural Agreement Between Japan and India in 2007.

Official Website of the Japan-India Friendship Year (Within the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan; in Japanese only) can be accessed by clicking

Kyushu Electric To Exchange Info with India Power Firm

It was reported by Dow Jones newswire service that Kyushu Electric Power Co & NTPC of India decided to work on a "collaboration basis" initially. Insatiable demand for power in India combined with a desire to expand within India could be two driving factors for this agreement. Watchout for many more such interesting developments as the two Asian giants increasingly find areas of mutual collaboration! In a typical Japanese manner, this deal was concluded almost 2 years after the first discussion.

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Kyushu Electric Power Co. (9508.TO) said Monday it has signed an agreement with National Thermal Power Corp. of India to promote information and other exchanges, Kyodo News reported Monday.

As the first Japanese electric power company to conclude such an accord with an Indian power supplier, Kyushu Electric hopes to grab future business opportunities in India where the supply of electricity has been increasing around 4% a year as a result of the nation's rapid economic growth, Kyodo said.

Kyushu Electric said it will initially promote exchange of information on power generation and environmental issues, Kyodo reported.

NTPC is India's largest electric power company, accounting for 28% of power generation in the country, Kyodo said, according to Kyushu Electric. Owned some 90% by the Indian government, NTPC engages mainly in thermal power generation and has no nuclear plants, Kyodo said.

In fiscal 2005, NTPC chalked up operating revenues equivalent to Y868.3 billion. It has a workforce of around 21,000 and operates 20 power plants, according to Kyodo.
Kyushu Electric proposed the deal to NTPC in October 2005, Kyodo reported

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Can Toyota have too much of a good thing in the US?

This is a very good article from AFP citing how Japanese cultural values and work ethics have helped Toyota gain the #1 position in this industry. For a Student of Japanese management techniques, it would be interesting to note Mr. Press's comments about Japanese "communication" style and their focus being mainly about Quality & Customer services. It tells us a lot about the Japanese mindset.

CHICAGO (AFP) - Fifty years after entering the US market, Japan's Toyota has set its sights on the last stronghold of its struggling American competitors: the full-sized pickup truck market and NASCAR' name stock-car racing. The challenge comes at a delicate time. Chrysler joined General Motors and Ford last week in plans to shutter plants and slash thousands of jobs amid massive financial losses.

Local media is bristling at the fact that Toyota has surpassed Ford to take the number two spot in the United States in recent months and is expected to overtake GM in global sales this year. The reports have related a backlash among the "good ole boys" of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) against the appearance of a Toyota at the Daytona 500 racetrack in Florida Sunday. Racing team owner Jack Roush was quoted recently as saying: "Americans shouldn't buy Japanese cars." And Detroit is fueling the fire with patriotic ad campaigns reminding customers that this is "our country." Toyota's president for North America disagrees. "We are an American company," Jim Press said in an interview recently, noting that many of the cars Toyota sells in the United States contain more American-built components than cars built by the US Big Three. "If Toyota is an import car then Chrysler is an import: it's owned by a German company," Press said.

Toyota has also been fighting back with a series of print and television ads touting its 13 billion-dollar investments in ten US plants and employment of more than 35,000 Americans across the country. It was a big shift for a company that traditionally focused simply on its products. "The problem is people in Detroit are trying to define us and I guess we're trying to define ourselves," Press explained. "We're a modest company. We focus on engineering good products and good customer service," he told AFP.

"We're not so good at politics and communications and all that stuff ... (but) it's focusing on us and that's why we're being a little more proactive on trying to communicate the facts." Despite the backlash and bad press, Toyota thinks the race is a great way to reach out to truck owners.

One thing Press wishes more detractors could see is the impact Toyota has had on local communities. He cited a recent television program about the devastation wrought on a local town after one of the Big Three shut down a plant. "People should look at our plant in Tennessee. It's like the film is going in reverse. It just keeps growing," Press said.

Toyota posted record US sales in January capturing 16.1 percent of the US market as its sales rose 9.5 percent to 175,850 vehicles.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

60% growth in Japan FDI and a new wave in relationship

Two statements and both conveying music to our ears!!! Looks like we are getting a good news on many fronts at the start of the year and hopefully things will get much much better for the rest of the year. With increased investments from Japan, it has never been a better time to be a bilingual professional!

• Japanese FDI

It was also highlighted that FDI from Japan to India had been growing at 60 per cent for the last two years. "Japanese business is excited about the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, a mega industrial zone that will attract investments and promote trade," said Toshiaki Kitamura, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Government of Japan.

New wave

"Re-engagement of Japan and India had commenced with the visit of the Prime Minister to Japan in December," said R. Seshasayee, President, CII - that has organised the fair jointly with Japan as the partner country.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

You can receive blogposts in your Inbox now!!

Dear readers,

As some of you may have noticed contributions to the Blog are slowly increasing every day!! I am providing below a very simple way to subscribe to our Blog. This way you do not have to visit the Blog but the articles will directly come to your Inbox!! It’s that simple. You can choose to either subscribe using your personal or official email address. You can also forward this to all your friends and others who would be interested to subscribe to posts on this Blog but not contribute to the Blog forum.


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Sunday, February 11, 2007

India-Japan ties to chug along freight corridor

This article appeared in the Financial Express on Feb 11th 2007. This is one of the key projects that is being undertaken during this momentous India-Japan Friendship Year. Hopefully one day we can also look forward to the Shinkansen in India and Delhi Bangalore can be covered in 5 hours by rail!!


NEW DELHI, FEB 10: Work on a proposed project to construct a Mumbai-Delhi and Kolkata-Delhi dedicated freight corridor is set to become the shining centrepiece of the ongoing India-Japan Friendship Year, besides altering the face of rail cargo traffic in the country.

Speaking here on Friday on the occasion of the celebrations of the 40th year of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in India, Japanese ambassador in New Delhi Yasukuni Enoki revealed that the outline of the project feasibility study was submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his December 2006 Tokyo visit. The genesis of the freight corridor project lies in the joint statement that the prime ministers of India and Japan issued in April 2005. On the cards later this year is the formal signing of a special economic partnership agreement between the two countries.

“I am hopeful that the groundwork on the dedicated freight corridor will get underway this year itself,” Enoki said. “This 2800-km-long rail network will dramatically speed up freight movement from Mumbai and Kolkata to the hinterland in north India.”

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

IRJ & Jobs in Japan

This is a wonderful opportunity for our fresh engineers to immediately go to Japan. Highly exciting overseas opportunities immediately!!


International Recruitment Japan, Inc. (IRJ) is a Japan based talent search firm providing placement services of human resource assets to its clients in the Information Technology and the Medial industry. IRJ is also focused on the mission to promote a borderless working society in Japan. In the journey towards this mission, IRJ have moved on to search seeking engineering talents of not only Japanese nationals, but also Indian professionals whom are currently residing in or out of Japan. Faced with the shortage of human resources in the IT industry, Japan is gradually opening up with the recruitment of multinationals offering salary equivalent to Japanese market standards. IRJ is making contributions in building a success for both its clients seeking IT professionals and the Indian professionals seeking challenging positions in Japan.

[Opportunities in Japan for Indian professionals through IRJ]

Over the next one year, IRJ plans to place 20 Indian Professionals to its clients in Japan. While the career opportunities in Japan for Indian professionals are open, language is still a barrier. Knowledge of Japanese equivalent to JLPT Level 2 or JETRO score of 520 will be a high advantage for seeking a career in Japan. Indian professionals whom are currently residing in Japan hold a high advantage as well.

[A sample job advertisement]

IT Specialist for Financial Domains

Job Description: Application Development for Top Financial Companies
Remuneration: Annual 50,000 USD ~ 100,000 USD and above
Skill Set Required
• Strong experience (3 + years) and knowledge with systems/applications development in the financial domain.
• Equity, Interest, or Insurance derivatives product knowledge.
• Experience of multithreaded systems, fault tolerant and robust real time system, Order Management System
• Knowledge of Japanese and work experience in Japan will be a big plus.

System Engineers, Programmers

Job Description: Japan Based Software Companies
Remuneration: Annual 30,000 USD ~ 60,000 USD and above
Skill Set Required
• Ability to design specs, Fluency in writing Program
• Languages : Java, C++ ,or C# Programming with COM (Code-SDE,SPL)
• Server : Windows,UNIX,LINUX (Code -SPL)
• Databases: SQL Server (Code SDE,SPL)
• Japanese language knowledge is a must and work experience in Japan will be a big plus

Semicon Industry's new business model

Here is an interesting report by Mr. Tsuyoshi Kawanishi especially for those interested in the Semiconductor Industry in Japan. This conference was held to discuss the "Insourcing" business model pioneered by Future Techno Designs (FTD) - a Singapore based organisation. Lectures were delivered by Mr. Thakur (Minister-Counselor of India), Mr. Tamaru (IPA), Mr. AndoElpida Memory Inc.and Mr. Inoue (Japan Society for the Promotion of Machine Industry).

Bottomline: Indian software professionals can look to many exciting jobs in this field!!

Major Comments in the Seminar

  1. For electric devices, cost of software has been increasing. For a cellular phone, more than 70% of the cost is occupied by software

  2. Many of the quality issues concerning electric devices are caused by the software troubles (software:34.2%, hardware 23.3%, spec 22.2%)

  3. There are 175,000 design technologists in Japan, but still 70,000 more are required. Therefore, it is inevitable to seek for software technologists abroad

  4. India, China, Israel, etc. are candidates. However, issues such as employability, skill, cost, language, infrastructure, country risk, partnership, etc. must be taken into consideration.

  5. Though, India leads the other countries on the whole, China is still a strong candidate thanks to its large market. Yet, India still has an advantage in development of embedded software.

  6. There are two types of partnership style for embedded software.

  • Modular type: US/EU type. This is so-called "outsourcing" type. It enjoys good efficiency but various kinds of "barrier" between each side need to be broken.
  • Integral type: Japan/FTD type. This is so-called "in-sourcing" type. There are less "barriers" between each side called "all-embracing system". 
  1. Insourcing model of FTDFTD finds a design company in India upon request of each customer. After a certain period of time, the customer can take over the company. The Insourcing model is limited to matching, transparency, protection of IP, accumulation of technology, and the like with specification, process, and basic design of the product.

Customer's responsibility:

  • provision of technical roadmap
  • provision of product planning
  • schedule planning
  • preparation of budget, and
  • technical integration

FTD's responsibility:

  • employment, education, and management of personnel
  • preparation of necessary infrastructure such as building
  • project & budget management , and
  • quality & process control

Reasons why Elpida chose FTD

  • it is in India
  • its achievements, especially with Japanese enterprises
  • its insourcing business model, and
  • trustworthiness

Mr. Thakur (Minister-Counselor of India): India is trying to improve infrastructure while putting emphasis on hardware development as well as software

Mr. Inoue (Japan Society for the Promotion of Machine Industry)To be more competitive, Japanese enterprises must make use of India more

Monday, February 05, 2007

Suzuki san's vision for new India

Suzuki san is awarded Padma Bhushan and gets “official” recognition for his contribution to India. However the common man long gave him that award by endorsing Maruti 800 as the most sold vehicle. Below are the excerpts from his recent speech at FICCI for his vision of India in the years to come.


My vision of the new millennium cannot be complete without sharing with you my belief about India in the new millennium. In the 18 years that I have been coming to India, I have seen a transformation of this country which is visible from the moment one arrives. Wider and well-lit roads greet the visitor. Bullock carts and tongas have been replaced by two-wheelers and cars. Personally, I am thankful that most of the cars increased on India roads are Marutis!

The vibrant India that steps out into the new millennium has many global advantages. It should be our effort to harness them to India's maximum benefit. The biggest advantage is that, in the world of info-tech, numbers are a great attraction. And India does have the numbers. It also has a vibrant democracy. A high number of technically educated people. An industrial base ready to take off. India is strategically located. Indians have done the world proud wherever they have entered. I can smell a changing India, an India poised to take on the world in the new millennium.

The last century focused on the US, Europe and Japan. The focus of the new millennium will be manufacturing and info-tech. Today, India is ready to meet the challenge of both. Indian industry needs infrastructure and communication support for it to bloom. And these are both on the government's agenda.

Indian software companies are respected globally. India is unstoppable. I am very bullish about India. And I recommend it with pride to all global companies. I am waiting for the day my dream about India can be realised. And that Maruti, which is an Indian company, can sell its cars competitively in the world carrying proudly the 'Made in India' symbol.

eve clebrating japanese culture

These words are so closely related that they are often used as synonyms by those who live in its realms.Being a lover of music i recognize it as best way to tie knot:of goodwill,of trust,of friendship.Cultural program;"JAPANESE DRUM SHOW";a event held in spirits of indo-jap unity was for sure a red apple for this hungry music lover.
it lived high in music,breath fast in dance and was a moment of lifetime rememberance.
just this for now

Cultural event in Delhi for Students

Nihongo Center of Delhi organised a Cultural Event on Saturday 20th January, 2007.The Program was well organised by Ms. Nasukawa , President of Nihongo Center. We are thankful to her for inviting to such an event.

The main event was "WADAIKO" The Japanese Traditional Drums played by Japanese people living in Delhi.

Our Teacher Ms. Aya Yamakawa was also invited with her students.

Nihongo Bashi's students were excited to see the event and their excitement was worth it. The program started by the speech of Mr. H.E. Arjun Asrani (Former Indian Ambassador to Japan).

In his about 10 minutes speech, he congratulated students for learning Japanese language and encouraged them to learn the language whole -heartedly. He asserted that you are pioneers in this bilingual functions and we the Indians are a step ahead of China because of our skilled Manpower which is Good in two languages(English and Japanese). The speech was really very interesting and motivational.

After the speech, started the "WADAIKO". The performance was wonderful and all the spectators were spellbound with the melody of Japanese Music. They also performed a workshop after the performance and our Nihongobashi students also tried their hand at it.
What came as a surprise package was at the end of the Program, the Drummers sang the Hindi Bollywood songs one after another and made students gyrate and sing with them.

Aya san(second from left), Me(Rightmost) and Students of NihongoBashi in Good Mood after the function.

- Report by Ms. Shikha Sharma, Japanese Language Teacher @ Nihongo Bashi, Noida

Report from Japanese delegation's visit to India and Singapore

This is a report by Mr. Tsuyoshi Kawanishi, a highly respected veteran of the Semiconductor Industry in Japan. As the Chairman of SSIS, he lead a delegation to India and his findings below reflect the state of thinking of Japanese businessmen today. This article is highly recommended for Students of Indo-Japanese economy who would also like to study the Singapore angle of this bilateral relationship.


A total of 20 members including members of SSIS went to India and Singapore in substantially 4 days taking night flights. In Bangalore, India, we visited affiliates of TPI and STPI, FTD, TI, Philips, Motorola, and other companies. In Singapore, we also visited EDB, Oki Electric Industry, Hitachi and so on. The tour also included a lecture by JETRO and it was a meaningful and fruitful tour for the participants.

  1. Since the reform in 1991, IT industry in India has surprisingly developed. In fiscal year of 2003, 73% of $12.2 bil. of exports was generated by software industry. However, major destinations for exporting were U.S. and Europe and only 3% was shipped to Japan. This shows that trade with India is not significant for Japanese. However, we must remember that the lowered number is also due to custom duties.

  1. India's IT industry has following advantages:

Human resource. Currently, number of IT technologists in India has touched 2.1 million and an average of 290,000 English-speaking senior technologists newly graduate from colleges every year.

High CMM level. 60 companies have obtained CMM5 in India while only 2 in China

Salary. IT technologists earn $5,000 a year and senior technologists earn $12,000 a year, which are one-third of those of Japanese and almost half of those Chinese

English, which is a "global language" in IT industry is semi-official language

  1. Business achievements differ depending on the company

  1. While job hopping rate in India is generally bet. 10 to 20%, it is only 5% for some companies (e.g., TI)

  1. Personality of Indian –

Positive side: Hard-working, ambitious, logical

Negative side: Highly individualistic and lacks ability to work in teams

  1. Impression of India based on our short stay
  • Generally dirtyexcluding IT-related companies & townsElectricity outage occurs often -several times in a day even in a hotel and some IT-related companies proudly talked about private electric generator
  • Rough driversThey are too rough that I cannot imagine driving in India
  • Due attention must be paid even for meal as one should not eat ice or uncooked vegetable, and should not drink local water. I had to eat spicy hot fried food everyday.

Moving from India to Singapore, everyone felt relaxed. Yet, some mentioned their preference to live in India.In Singapore, we can drink local water, eat uncooked vegetable and even sashimi. Also, there is no traffic jam or electric outage. The streets and towns are cleanly kept and safe, etc.

  • Bureaucrats in Singapore are professionals of very high quality standards and we were strongly impressed by Mr. Tan of the Economic Development Board.
  • The government of Singapore has learned a lesson from SARS that they cannot rely their economy only on service industry. Strength of manufacturing industry in Singapore is in its supply chains. They also emphasize on connectivity of information and telecommunication.
  • A free trade agreement has been signed between India and Singapore. Due to the effect of the Chinese culture, value their ties with abroad
  • Instead of aiming at more than 7% growth of GDP for a short period, they aim at long and continuous GDP growth in a range of 3 to 5%.