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Japan-Bangladesh E-Bulletin (13th issue / November 22nd, 2004)
- Making a Bridge between Japan and Bangladesh -

[Table of Contents]

[1] Message from Ambassador Horiguchi
"Commonwealth War Cemetery in Comilla"

[2] Upcoming Events on Japan-Bangladesh Relations
* Japan-World Bank Joint Seminar (Nov. 22, Dhaka & Tokyo)
* Japanese Traditional Drum Concert (Nov. 23-27, Dhaka)
* Seminar on the JICA/AAN Arsenic Project (Nov. 28, Dhaka)

[3] Recent Events on Japan-Bangladesh Relations
* International Symposium on Japanese ODA (Nov. 5, Tokyo)

[4] JBCCI Member Report
"Experiences of doing business with Japan"
Syed Razzaque Ali
(Managing Director, Gulf Environmental Technologies Ltd (GET))

[5] Voices from Readers


[1] Message from Ambassador Horiguchi
"Commonwealth War Cemetery in Comilla"

I attended the Remembrance Day Service on 6 November 2004, at Commonwealth War Cemetery in Comilla. When I visited Comilla right after I assumed my post in Bangladesh last year, I was amazed at the beautiful cemetery, where hundreds of epitaphs form an orderly line on the slopes of a well-trimmed turf in full sunlight.

In addition, when I found 24 epitaphs of Japanese soldiers at the right-hand side area while walking around the cemetery, I felt a crosscurrent of deep feelings and emotions running through me.

Japan had started modernization since the Meiji Restoration, and by winning the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War, it came to rank among the Five Great Powers within only a half century.

In this process, we learnt a lot from many British personalities like Dr. Henry Dyer who established the Engineering Department in Tokyo University, and we greatly owed to the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in enhancing our position in the international arena.

Especially, the importance of the Anglo-Japanese Alliance was obvious, because soon after the abandonment of the Alliance under pressure by the United States after the World War I, Japanese diplomacy started drifting. Finally, Japan started the reckless Pacific War and lost everything.

With the outbreak of the Pacific War, Japan dealt the United Kingdom a telling blow. With the end of the war, United Kingdom was obliged to relinquish most of its colonies that it had built up so industriously
over several centuries.

From the United Kingdom's perspective, what Japan did was just "repayment of kindness with ingratitude."

Therefore, I was strongly impressed by the magnanimity of the British people, observing that Japanese soldiers are buried together with their British counterparts at the beautiful Commonwealth War Cemetery
in Comilla.

On the closing days of the World War II, a large number of Japanese soldiers died on the Mandalay-Rangoon Highway after losing the Imphal Operation. When I worked in Myanmar some ten years ago, the remains of
the war dead were still being found by farmers in the area and they brought them to the Embassy several times. I am glad these 24 Japanese soldiers were fortunate enough to be buried in this beautiful

Sixty years have already passed since the war. Anglo-Japan is now building wonderful co-operative relations.

I thought that Japanese soldiers' spirits might feel happy as they were buried together with Commonwealth soldiers, praying for the world peace beyond gratitude and resentment.

(Ambassador's past messages are posted on the following website.)


[2] Upcoming Events on Japan-Bangladesh Relations

* Japan-World Bank Joint Seminar (Nov. 22, Dhaka & Tokyo)

Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Japan's International Cooperation, Japan-World Bank Joint Seminar "Towards a More Prosperous Bangladesh - Next Steps for Development Partners" will be held on Monday, November 22, 2004, at World Bank Dhaka Office and World Bank Tokyo Development Learning Center connected by a video conferencing system.

In this seminar, Japanese and Bangladeshi development experts will talk about the roles of Japan and World Bank in development of Bangladesh. Ambassador Horiguchi will also make a presentation at the seminar.

* Japanese Traditional Drum Concert (Nov. 23-27, Dhaka)

The Embassy of Japan and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy will jointly organize a drum concert by 'Haguruma' or a toothhead wheel, a group of Japanese drummers at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 23, 2004 at Osmani
Memorial Hall.

Before the concert, please collect free invitation cards for the drum concert from the gate of the Embassy of Japan, Plot 5 & 7, Dutabash Road, Baridhara, Dhaka.

Press Release is posted on the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh website.

For more information, please contact Cultural Section, Embassy of Japan.

They will also perform on November 24, 25, and 27, sponsored by International Angel Association. The schedule is as follows.

Wednesday, Nov. 24, 4 p.m.
Field in front of City Hall, Mymensingh Sadar, Mymensingh

Thursday, Nov. 25, 4 p.m.
Momtaj Uddin High School, Toke, Kapasia, Gazipur

Saturday, Nov. 27, 4 p.m.
Hatimara High School, Gazipur Sadar, Gazipur

Please just go to the venue if you are interested. Free of charge and
no tickets for Nov. 24-27 events.

* Seminar on the JICA/AAN Arsenic Project (Nov. 28, Dhaka)

Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development & Cooperatives, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Asia Arsenic Network (AAN) will organize the inaugural session of the final seminar on the
JICA/AAN Project titled "Integrated Approach for Mitigation of Arsenic Contamination of Drinking Water in Bangladesh" on Sunday, November 28, 2004, at 10:00 a.m. at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.

Ambassador Horiguchi will address the seminar as Special Guest.
For more information, please visit the following website.


[3] Recent Events on Japan-Bangladesh Relations

* International Symposium on Japanese ODA (Nov. 5, Tokyo)

International Symposium "Prospects and Issues Facing Japanese ODA: In Search of New Approaches--Assistance with Due Respect to Ownership," sponsored by the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development (FASID) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) was held on November 5, 2004, in Tokyo.

From Bangladesh, Mr. Quamrul Islam Siddique, Former Executive Director of Dhaka Transport Coordination Board, attended the seminar, and spoke on "Institutions and Capacity Building for Development in Bangladesh:
A Pracititioner's Experience."

The materials Mr. Siddique provided are on the following websites.
(Power Point file)
http://www.bd.emb-japan.go.jp/jp/bdmodel/doc/041105shiddiquefasid%20ppt.pdf (Summary)
http://www.bd.emb-japan.go.jp/jp/bdmodel/doc/041105siddiquefasidsummary.doc (Paper)


[4] JBCCI Member Report
"Experiences of doing business with Japan" Syed Razzaque Ali (Managing Director, Gulf Environmental Technologies Ltd (GET))

Gulf Environmental Technologies Ltd (GET), mainly a trading company is established in 1996. Initially, we used to import mini split and split type air-conditioner from the U.S.A. and window types from Dubai, UAE. The quality of USA-made products were excellent and we had a special experience. In 1996, our total manpower was 26 ‐ 15 technicians and 11 persons were in marketing, sales and administration. Our market was limited to split, window and package types till 1998.

In 1998, we got one order from the government to install a package type air-conditioner unit, which was more critical than the central air-conditioner. Initially, we were not serious but the authority concerned threatened us to complete the work perfectly otherwise we will be black listed. This condition made us serious and we had to
complete the work timely but that incurred a loss of two millions in local currencies.

In early 1999, we decided to go for air-conditioner central plant business and obviously that requires a manufacturer and we took the help of Singapore yellow pages. We sent few faxes to HITACHI Singapore. In reply, they showed interest to do business, but gave conditions that we have to be financially solvent as well as
technically sound.

However, we, a group of four people, went to Singapore to convince them. We had meeting with Mr. K. Nakagawa, who is Japanese and having vast experience about marketing. That kind-hearted man played a vital
role to do business with Japan.

Initially, we had three years' agreement with HITACHI to sell their all air-conditioner products. The goods are manufactured in Shimizu, Japan. Singapore is only a liaison office. After six months into our agreement with the HITACHI, we got call from Tokyo, Japan for an orientation as well as training for seven persons of our company. We faced some problems with the local Japan Embassy to get visa. But the HITACHI Japanese authority called the visa officer over phone and ensured our training. In fact, our five engineers were trained in the factory of Japan which has helped us a lot. We were also given a clear idea about quality of products, network of marketing idea, after sales service in Tokyo. We had been there almost 12 days. We had a meeting with the General Manager of HITACHI. He gave us more facility on products, a discount period on sales and marketing.

We have observed the Japanese people are amiable, disciplined, clean, punctual, attentive listeners, having very good business attitudes. We were a bit shaky as we were Muslims, dark-skinned and Bangladeshi but
even the General Manager of HITACHI and all staff has behaved with us in such a way as if we were world-class business people.

We faced some problems also with the Japanese company as they do not manufacture all the supporting equipment of chiller in Tokyo. Like AHU, FCU are made in Taiwan and the Philippines, the splits A/C's are
manufactured in Barcelona of Spain. The chiller costs high and they never kept goods in stock. After confirmation of L/C, they go for manufacturing which takes more than 90 days. The chiller is a highly technical equipment which requires proper training not only for our people but sometimes for the users also want training on operation but it is not always easy for everyone to get a visa.

In conclusion, it is clear that the quality of Japanese products are unparalleled. The cost may be 10-15% more but all users may remain disturb-free even with the continuous electricity fluctuations. Hitachi, by the grace of God, has made our business established in Bangladesh and we have installed the Central products in more than 100 institutions in Bangladesh and our company is now manned by 311 persons with 20 graduate engineers and 63 diploma engineers besides technicians and salesmen. I have imported goods from the USA, Europe and other counties but the Japanese products, especially mechanical and electronics goods, are undoubtedly the best.

(Japan-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JBCCI) Website)
(Gulf Environmental Technologies Ltd Website and Email address)
Web: www.gulftechnology.com
Email: getl@bdmail.net


[5] Voices from Readers

Since we issued the first E-Bulletin, we have received a lot of e-mails of impressions, opinions, and so on. From this issue, we will introduce some of those, under the title "Voices from Readers".

(June 9)
I have been delighted to get this mail from your part. This mail message will definitely help me complete my research work as I am working on DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCES OF JAPAN IN BANGLADESH:TOWARDS A
NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT. (JICA IS A CASE STUDY). I will remain ever grateful if I get more mails from you from time to time. (B.M.)

(Aug. 7)
I thank you for your consideration and organized support from Japan for our flood affected people in the country. I am really grateful and appreciate your support. You may know and understand the seriousness
of the impact of disabled people by the flood. But we observed that most of the disabled people could not avail support due their disability and the system of distribution. Most of the people working for the disabled are frustrated with this situation. (M.B., Managing Director)

(Aug. 30)
This e-bulletin is very useful and really keeps me informed about Japan-BD relations and ongoing events. I would like to know more about your visitors programs to different institutions in Japan for journalists and academics from Bangladesh. (M.A., Assistant Professor)

(Nov. 5)
I know that Japanese overseas cooperation volunteers, JICA officials, diplomats & JBIC officials and other Japanese officials leave Bangladesh after 1-3 years of stay. Is it possible to include comments on Bangladesh and Bangladeshis from those homecoming people in this e-bulletin? It does not necessarily mean that comments must have to be positive always. (N.S., JDS (Japanese Development Scholarship) fellow)

(Nov. 8)
Japan's "Social Environment and Resettlement Study" prior to the construction of the bridge and approach roads, is very much praise worthy. It may be mentioned here that JICA experts plan to arrange meetings between resettlers of Jamuna Bridge and people potentially affected by Padma Bridge to reduce their anxieties. This is a remarkable contribution of Japan in the development activities of Bangladesh.

As an advanced democratic country, Japan helps people of Bangladesh in realizing the process of democracy and the JICA experts slowly convinced the people of Bangladesh in its democratization process through the intervention of development efforts.

Japan-Bangladesh Relationship is being strengthened through holding regular fairs and exhibitions, cultural exchanges, consultation meetings for Japanese ODA Loan, and giving employment to the people of

Doing business with Japan, A Personal Perspective of Mr. M. A. MOMEN. All of these activities mentioned above and the good relationship with the people of Japan are highly laudable.

We feel that over the years many connections with Japanese business, technical assistance, consultancy services and financial assistance have paved a new era whereby mutual respect, trust, confidence and above all professionalism between our two countries have gained a momentum for creating more and more collaborations in many innovative areas in the years to come.
(M.K., Professor)


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Embassy of Japan
Plot No. 5 & 7, Dutabash Road,
Baridhara, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Phone (880-2)881-0087
FAX (880-2)882-6737

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