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January 09, 2007


Interviews with Professionals in Los Angeles

Interviewees: Mr. Sumio Miyazaki (President, Tokimec USA Inc.) and Ms. Chisako Yokoyama (Executive Director, International School of Motion Pictures)

On 12/28 (12/27 in Pacific Standard Time), I had a chance to talk to two professionals currently living in LA about education for Japanese youth. For those who are interested in economic education in Japan, it will be quite helpful and suggestive to hear the opinions of professionals actively engaging in international business as to what can be said about Japanese young people and what can be expected of them.

Summary of Mr. Miyazaki's Interview:
In the U.S., there are quite a few people who are working hard as a businessperson on one hand and as a volunteer on the other. A friend of mine, Mr. Miyazaki, is such a businessman in charge of heading the LA office of a major precision machinery company in Japan, while voluntarily offering a short-term training program for Japanese students to learn from the American way of doing business in California.
Mr. Miyazaki said that he would like participants to obtain some hints for their future careers as well as strong motivation to pursue their objectives in life, whatever career they might choose. Although the students enrolled in his program so far were "good" students by the Japanese standard, they seemed very slow and often hesitant in making their own decisions and expressiong their own opinions in response to the questions or problems given to them on the program.
Mr. Miyazaki wishes to help students overcome such a negative cultural attitude by offering a better and longer program next spring. Hopefully, there will be more programs like this to be offered for Japanese young people to grow in an international environment, and Japan needs it for its survival in the future.

Summary of Ms. Yokoyama's Interview:
Today I was invited to a party at Ms. Chisako Yokoyama, Executive Director of the International School of Motion Pictures (ISMP), and talked to her and her family as well as her students and staff members.
Ms. Yokoyama said that although the school just opened four months ago and there are still very few students admitted, she already found it important to adjust teaching programs flexibly to the need and level of individual students, who tend to have their own specialized interests and abilities, for example, in sound technology or production activities. She was pleased with the good (actually better than expected) sense and ability of her students in handling “visual” content in film-making. In fact, a student's science fiction was really great, according to Ms. Yokoyama.
She concluded by saying that “I think I will be able to enjoy teaching my students, whatever problems they or I might face in the future.” With such optimism and the family atmosphere prevailing at the party, she will surely succeed in educating students to become professional film-making specialists in Hollywood someday.
Previous Interview with Ms. Yokoyama:
For a Japanese version of this report, see the following: