Internship at Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Moscow office.

Friday, the 11th of May, 2018

In cooperation with the Moscow office of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), an internship was organized for 11 participants, of whom 9 were exchange students who had been sent abroad by TUFS under the Japan-Russia Student Mobility Program and another 2 exchange students who were privately funded, on the 11th of May.

 JETRO is an independent administrative corporation with branch offices in every prefecture of Japan, and74 overseas offices in 54 countries.  It currently operates two offices in the Russian Federation, in Moscow and St. Petersburg.  Its Moscow office employs 9 people, of which 4 are Japanese nationals.

 The primary role of the Moscow office is to support Japanese companies’ penetration of the Russian market, to encourage Russian companies to enter the Japanese market, to support the export of Japanese agricultural and food products, and to conduct surveys and provide analysis of the Russian business climate.  In conjunction with Russo-Japanese efforts at the strengthening of economic ties, JETRO also pays special attention to supporting small and medium enterprises (SME).  As part of this effort to support SMEs, the Moscow office participates in trade conventions such as “Innoprom” and “Word Food Moscow” to offer opportunity to showcase Japanese products to Russian companies.  The office offers support services to Japanese companies seeking to enter the Russian market through specialists with extensive experience in doing business in Russia.  Additionally, JETRO conducts surveys and seminars regarding issues concerning customs or copyright infringement.

 The internship began with a greeting from Mr. Kunihiro Nomura, who is the General Manager of the Moscow office, following which local staff gave explanations of the office’s day-to-day functions in Russian.  Afterwards, the interns had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Norimasa Shimada, and Mr. Hiroshi Saito about the work they do at the Moscow Office, how they spent their college days, and how they came to be employed in Moscow.  Shortly after beginning corporate careers, both men were assigned to a Tokyo research team and after working at domestic regional offices, they eventually were assigned to  overseas office.  The students found it common to both JETRO and other private companies that after securing employment they are using a language other than the one they studied at university, however they were particularly interested in the case of the JETRO Moscow office both Mr. Shimada and Mr. Saito found themselves using Japanese quite a lot.  This is because their main clients are Japanese companies.

Both of them spent a lot of time translating Russian documents when they worked for Tokyo research teams.  Moscow office’s library where the students were treated to a tour, featured many of the reports JETRO has published; this reinforced the primacy of research and surveying in JETRO’s work.  The Students were impressed with comments of Mr. Shimada and Mr. Saito based on their research team background, that they were fascinated to confirm with their own eyes the information they had absorbed through documents during their assignment at Tokyo research teams.

 Below are some impressions from students.

-As a student at a foreign languages university, I have long had the desire to find work at a company that did business overseas (particularly in relation to trade); this visit reminded me of just how important an institution JETRO is.  While I had long known of JETRO, in a vague sense, this visit provided me the first opportunity to understand in detail what JETRO does, and to realize the major role that JETRO plays in communicating with other countries with which Japanese companies do business.

-JETRO is not an enterprise per se, but is a dokuritsu gyousei hounjin (independent administrative corporation), so its interest is not in making profits, but it nonetheless provides an invaluable service, as I have come to feel.  According to JETRO staff, to apply for JETRO, dedicating oneself to Japan is not an requirement, , however knowing that one’s work  was beneficial to Japan as a whole would be quite fulfilling.

-Were I to work at entities such as JETRO dedicated to promoting trade and the overseas business expansion, I would definitely need to know a lot about business.  Up until now, I have hardly taken any business-related classes at TUFS, so when I get back to Japan I definitely will think about taking some.

-Listening to the two JETRO officials’ comment that during  job hunting they self-analyzed that they were not fit for profit making job, I realized how important it is to understand one’s own self clearly when deciding what kind of a job to apply for.

-I thought it was really impressive that JETRO’s function is not to make profit, but to support private companies’ diversified businesses in Russia and Japan.

A commemorative photograph taken before the reception

Outline of the Internship program

Date and time:
Friday, May 11, 2018 (Friday) 10:00-12:00

JETRO, Moscow Office
(8th Floor, BC “Europe-Building” 5, Bryanskaya st., Moscow, 121059 Russia)

JETRO officers:
Mr. Kunihiro Nomura, General Manager, JETRO  Moscow
Mr. Norimasa Shimada, Director, JETRO Moscow
Mr. Hiroshi Saito, Director, JETRO Moscow
Ms. Solangy Shaktar, Expert (Project coordination), JETRO Moscow

9 exchange students that were sent to Russia by TUFS under Japan-Russia Student Mobility Program, and two self-financed exchange students

10:00-11:00     overview of the day-to-day work of the Moscow office given by Ms. Shaktar
11:00-12:00     Greeting and tour conducted by Mr. Shimada and Mr. Saito