Saitama-Cebu students exchange program underway

Nine Japanese third-year college students from Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT) paid a courtesy visit on Tuesday, August 1 to Cebu Governor Hilario P. Davide III as part of the student exchange program of Saitama-Cebu Comprehensive Human Resource Monozukuri Project.

“Our SIT students and those from USJ-R will study together in a series of cutting-edge technology lectures, metal production experiments and company visits during their two-week stay here,” said Kyoko Hidaka, associate professor of SIT in Tokyo.

Aside from holding lectures with 90 Filipino students, the two-week program also includes visiting Japanese companies such as the Makoto Metal Technology Inc. and Lino Manufacturing Co Ltd. in Lapu-Lapu City.

They will also pay a visit to the Technical Education and Skills Development center.

Lino is a company that manufactures motor vehicle parts and accessories while Makoto specializes on metal fabrication. Both of their parent firms are based in Junocho, Omiya-ku Saitama.

Next week, Hidaka said, 10 selected Cebuano students will do laboratory experiments with their SIT counterparts, who are also accompanied by professor Kenichi Sugimura and Saitama associate director Wakamatsu Koji.

Hidaka said some of these SIT students are taking up engineering courses while others are studying manufacturing.

They are Karin Fujii, 21, from Tokyo; Mei Kanayama, 21, Tokyo; Nana Watanabe, 20, Niigata; Karen Miki, 20, Saitama; Kiho Mitomo, 2, Gunma; Shun Nakayama, 21, Kanagawa; Naoki Chiya, 20, Hokkaido; Shohei Arita, 21, Tokyo; and Yuuto Takeda, 21, Chiba.

These nine are part of the project’s official linkage in which they will be mixed with 10 Filipino students, said Dr. Virgilio Abellana, Dean of the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) College of Engineering, the host university.

At least 125 students from USJ-R, Cebu Technological University and University of San Carlos are part of the program.

Of that total number, 10 are now in Japan on a similar two-week study, Abellana said.

Hidaka said “Monozukuri” means “product making”. Mono means things and Zukuri means making or the process of making things and to have the ability to constantly improve the production system and its processes.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) sponsored the project, which started in 2013.  It aims to transfer Japanese Monozukuri philosophy and technology in manufacturing to Cebuanos.

Since the program rated high during the evaluation, JICA decided to extend its period by another three years after it ended last November 2015.

After Davide visited Japan in February 2014 and mid-2015, Saitama Prefecture Governor Kiyoshi Ueda came to Cebu in October 2016 to sign a memorandum of understanding between the two provinces to enhance cooperation in the field of human resource development.

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