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Cebu studes start training course under Japan’s Monozukuri Project

| by: Xerxes Alkuino

About 100 Cebu engineering students started its Intensive Course A training seminar with Japanese and Filipino experts last May 12.

University of San Jose-Recoletos College of Engineering Dean Virgilio Abellana said this is the first intensive course under the “Saitama-Cebu Comprehensive HR Monozukuri Project.”

The Monozukuri Project is a two-year and four-month project sealed last October. This was sponsored by Japan International Cooperation Agency in collaboration with Saitama Prefecture and Cebu Provincial Government.

Monozukuri is a Japanese manufacturing approach and philosophy that aims to maximize customer satisfaction and create excellent products.

It is a culture anchored on ideas, such as community co-existence, environmental harmony and effective resource utilization.

Cebu Governor Hilario P. Davide III asked the students to be part of Capitol’s “journey” in the midst of challenges in the modern world.

One of the challenges mentioned by the governor is the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Regional Integration. This will usher a very competitive free trade market among the ASEAN countries.

“We have to be ready for the rising global competition and the challenges of the ASEAN regional integration,” Davide told the students during the training seminar held at the USJ-R auditorium.

“Cebu has to keep pace with the country’s economic growth that has steadily increased over the recent years. We need to reach out and link up with like-minded institutions. We cannot afford to be isolated and left out,” he added.

Kimio Wada, associate director of Saitama Prefecture’s International Division-Department of Public Services, headed the Japanese delegation during the training.

Wada explained that the Monozukuri project will give the students the opportunity to learn Japanese processes of its booming manufacturing industries.

Asked what would be Saitama’s benefits from the project, he said it is mutual.

“By improving our friendship with Cebu Province, we are hoping that Saitama-based Japanese manufacturing industries would expand their businesses to Cebu and establish more companies,” he said.

He added that they chose Cebu to be its partner because they saw some similarities with Saitama aside from the connection of USJ-R with Japanese universities.

“Cebu has the second biggest city in the Philippines; Saitama is nearby Tokyo, the Capital of Japan and it has several cities within it,” he said through his interpreter Blain Keller.

He further stated that Cebu has several manufacturing industries and is a leading export province.

Still on its pilot year, the participants are engineering students of the USJ-R and University of San Carlos. Later on, the project will be extended to other engineering students from the leading college institutions in Cebu.

The Intensive Course A, which will end on May 16, began with the lectures on history and current status of Japanese Monozukuri by Dr. Yoshikazu Yoshida of Toyo University and challenges in the Philippines by USJ-R School of Law Dean Atty. Jonathan Capanas.

Day two courses included social foundational capability given by Engr. Geraldine Pena Ishizaki of Kane Package Group Philippines, Inc. and Maxims for Engineers by Dean Abella.

For day three, the discussion was on character building by Dr. Yoshida.

On the fourth day, talks on ecological philosophy will be given by Dr. Takashi Asaeda, editor-in-chief, Wetland Ecology and Management landscape and ecological engineer, and ecological engineer of Saitama University.

Two professors of Toyo University will lecture on oroject management (Dr. Yuichi Kanda) and intellectual property and innovation (Mr. Tokio Nohara) on the last day.