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2017.07.19

Newsletter

【JWF News Vol.154】5th Kyoto World Water Grand Prize will call for applications soon!

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【JWF News Vol.154】 5th Kyoto World Water Grand Prize will call for applications soon!

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◇Contents◇

・Foreword The requirements for being an international business person

・Announcement from the Japan Water Forum
- Third UN Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters will be held
- 5th Kyoto World Water Grand Prize will call for applications soon!
- Darvish Yu Water Fund: the 11th Project is now ongoing!

・Report from the Japan Water Forum
- Ninth Meeting of High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP)
- JWF Fund 2015 follow-up completed!

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・Foreword The requirements for being an international business person: be able to sleep anywhere, eat anything, and make friends with anyone
By Kotaro Takemura, Chair of the Japan Water Forum

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Keynote Address by Mr. Kazunari Yoshimura, a Board Member of the JWF
On June 14, the JWF’s general meeting took place. After deliberations on the financial results for 2016 and the 2017 budget, Mr. Yoshimura delivered a keynote address. He referred to the current situation in the global water business and the challenges facing Japanese companies trying to advance overseas. His speech was sprinkled with humor nurtured during his long career as an international businessman.

What most impressed me was his discourse on the three requirements for international business people. One is to be able to sleep anywhere, the second is to be able to eat anything, and the third is to be able to make friends with anyone. These are quite easy to understand.

Toughness
The three requirements mentioned above are essential for international business people who have to meet strangers and negotiate with them in unknown territory. The first one, being able to sleep anywhere, means that one must be mentally strong. It is very important to sleep in any hotel, even if it’s noisy, its rooms are small and dirty, and it offers only cold showers. It would be a great disadvantage to get distracted because of a lack of sleep, particularly when abroad. Therefore, international business people should be mentally tough enough to sleep wherever they are.

The second requirement, to be able to eat anything, means that one must be in good physical shape. The food a business traveler eats while abroad may be unfamiliar. They may know nothing about the ingredients of the dishes served to them. Even with familiar meat, fish, and vegetables, the seasonings may not be what the traveler is used to. Some of the dishes may be hot, some sweet, and others highly seasoned. They may be nothing like Japanese food. Therefore the traveler must have a strong stomach to enjoy ethnic foods. He or she must always be in good shape with a healthy appetite.

To Make Friends with Anyone
The third requirement, to be able to become friends with anyone, carries a profound meaning. The basics of business are universal across the world. Firstly, they are based on a relationship of trust between two parties. You must be able to trust your counterparts, and be trusted by them. You can’t close a deal with a person you can’t trust even if you provide good products. It is not products but the people who work to get business deals signed.

To make friends with anyone, Mr. Yoshimura mentioned, means to trust the other person and to be trusted by that person. But first, trust must be established. In Japan, trust is built in an ambiguous way. It is sometimes based on confidence in business cards and reliable intermediaries. Moreover, business people quickly foster trust when they get to know each other’s place of birth and their alma mater in casual conversation. Once they learn that they have friends in common, they can quickly establish a relationship of trust.

In the arena of international business, however, the situation is not the same. Abroad, everything is different from Japan, from topography to climate, to history, to religion, to customs, to social rules. Business people have to meet, discuss and negotiate with people from different cultures. Name cards or intermediaries are not relevant in a foreign setting. People in some countries rarely talk about their place of birth or their alma mater in business situations. Therefore, it is very difficult to build a relationship of trust in the Japanese way. So what should international business people do to establish trust with each other and become friends?

Getting Along Well with Anyone
 In order to make friends with people, you have to converse with them, so you need basic linguistic ability. Fortunately, a good interpreter can compensate for poor language skills. The most important thing is the contents of a conversation.
First, you have to understand what your counterparts are saying and respond appropriately to them. It is necessary for you to have a clear message and to get that message across. While exchanging views, two parties can develop a sense of trust. Once there is trust, a strong bond will develop, and the parties will look for opportunities to socialize off the job. This will foster further trust.
In contrast, if you cannot understand what your counterpart is talking about, or if you have no message to deliver, you will not be able to build trust, and you will not get along together.

In order to build trust through communication, one must be highly educated.
This does not necessarily mean having a lot of knowledge. As the late Tsuneari Fukuda said, educated people are those who can get along well with anyone. This doesn’t mean just to nod in agreement at the speaker’s words, or just to express one’s own ideas one-sidedly. It means to find things in common and to understand the differences between each other. You have to be able to get along well with anyone, including government officials and those who happen to be sitting next to you in a pub. This is the essence of Mr. Fukuda’s message.

The Magnificent Seven
 The phrase “getting along well with each other” reminds me of The Magnificent Seven, a famous western film made 60 years ago. It was a remake by John Sturges of Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.

The most impressive scene is when six gunmen and another young man are heading for a village in order to fight against a large group of outlaws. As a film lover, I like this scene, where I can hear the lilting tune of my favorite soundtrack. The seven horsemen gallop across the wilderness, moving across rivers and through forests. The six men are old friends and they all ride at the same speed and rhythm. In this scene the young man is not regarded as one of the group. So he rides apart from the others. The friendship of these men is based on mutual trust. The scene clearly shows that the young man is immature and doesn’t get along well the other six.

How difficult it is to be an international business person!
One must be mentally tough enough to able to sleep anywhere, in good enough physical shape to be able to eat anything, and well enough educated to be able to get along well with anyone.

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・Announcement from the Japan Water Forum

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- Third UN Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters will be held

Third UN Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters“Adaptation to Climate Change, Boosting Financing and Investment, and Advancing Science and Technology” will be held on July 20, 2017 at the UN Headquarters in New York.
For details, please see the High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP) official website.

▼HELP official website▼
http://www.wateranddisaster.org/
(Reported by Atsushi Noguchi, Manager)

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- 5th Kyoto World Water Grand Prize will call for applications soon!

The 5th Kyoto World Water Grand Prize jointly organized by World Water Council (WWC) and Japan Water Forum (JWF) will reward grass-roots organization at the 8th World Water Forum to be held in March, 2018.
The Prize has been triennially awarded at the World Water Forum since 2006 in order to support problem-solving activities of many people and organizations while calling for the importance of their actions, through which it aims to make contributions to the grass-root activities.

The application for the 5th Prize award will open in August, 2017.
The application form and the guidelines for the Prize will be available on our website.

We look forward to your application for the Prize!

▼Please visit WWC official website for details of the prize▼
http://www.worldwatercouncil.org/forum/water-prizes/kyoto-world-water-grand-prize/
(Reported by Akie Gunji, Manager)

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- Darvish Yu Water Fund: the 11th Project is now ongoing!

The 11th project supported by the Darvish Yu Water Fund is now ongoing in Mae Chaem District, Chiang Mai Province of Northern Thailand.
In the project area, hill tribes are living. They are minority and make up about 1.5 percent of the total population of Thailand, however, they cannot receive enough public services such as education and medical care. Sahamit Wittaya School, to which children of hill tribes in these situation go, faces a lack of sustainable water sources.

By installing water storage and supply systems in the school, 600 students and 50 teachers will be able to use sustainable water for domestic, agricultural and drinking purpose.

▼Please visit the following website for details of this project▼
http://www.waterforum.jp/en/2017/0629/?p=6159
(Reported by Akie Gunji, Manager)

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・Report from the Japan Water Forum

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- Ninth Meeting of High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP)

Ninth Meeting of High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP) was held on Friday, 19 May 2017 in Chengdu, People’s Republic of China.

After dynamic paradigm shift of the international framework as well as Japan's framework of water-related issues such as the new beginning of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the adoption of the Paris agreement, the latest and historic agreement on the climate change, the adoption of the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction, the Sendai Framework and Water Cycle Policy approved by the Japanese cabinet, HELP encourages cooperative actions on reducing water-related disasters by nations and international organizations.

▼Please visit the following website for details▼
http://www.waterforum.jp/en/2017/0703/?p=6330

(Reported by Atsushi Noguchi, Manager)
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- JWF Fund 2015 follow-up completed!

Japan Water Forum (JWF) Fund was established in 2005 to support organizations which work aiming at solving water-related issues at a grass-roots level. Our priority is placed in responding to the issues and needs of the field in an efficient and effective way.
With cooperation of 4 organizations out of 6 supported by the Fund 2015, the follow-up observations were carried out to see the conditions, a year later.
The results showed that there are various changes such as attendance rate of the pupils at school has increased, life of women and girls has changed, water-borne diseases has decreased and so on.

We would like to express our sincere appreciation to local organizations, JWF members, everyone who donated Charity for Water and all for your understanding and cooperation.

▼Please visit the following website for details▼
http://www.waterforum.jp/en/2017/0623/?p=6216
(Reported by Akie Gunji, Manager)

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▼JWF News Achives▼
http://www.waterforum.jp/en/news_en/newsletter_en

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JWF News Vol.154 July 19, 2017
Japan Water Forum

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