Friday, 20 December 2013

Closing speach on behalf of international participants for Japanese International Cooperation Agency`s (JICA) ‘CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION’s COURSE’ 2013, Japan

The Deputy Director General, Tokyo International Centre JICA Mr. Hisanao NODA,
The Assistant Director General, Office of Technical Cooperation, MOF, Japan Mr Jun TAJIMA,
Distinguished Resource Persons from the Customs Training Institute, Japan,
Programme Officer, Customs Administrations Course, Mr Shinichi NOGUCHI,
My dear Colleagues
Ladies and Gentlemen


It is my privilege to be permitted to give this closing remark on behalf of JICA ‘CUSTOMS ADMINISTRATION’s COURSE’ 2013 participants. It is particularly heartening to note that each of the ten of us was chosen by his Administration to take part in this prestigious programme after a careful scrutiny. Having thoroughly gone through the experience we will never be the same again as our eyes have been more opened and our understanding of Customs as a profession is more enhanced. Here, Deputy Director General Sir, are ten refreshened, remodelled multi-national Customs officers whose vision of the profession has been accorded a new perspective.  
‘Customs Administration’s course as offered by JICA comprehensively encapsulates the whole of Customs procedure in its current theory and practice. In-fact any Customs Administration that wishes to modernise its systems and processes should not fail to understudy the Japanese system, for Japan is the epitome of best practice in International Customs Procedure.

I must confess also that the Resource Persons we had throughout the process (from Tokyo to Nagoya) are the best any Customs Administration would be lucky to have. In the final analysis however Japanese Customs Officers are the best.
I seek your permission sir to thank the entire staff of JICA Tokyo and JICA Chubu (led by our programme officer Mr. Shinishi Noguchi), CTI, Tokyo and Nagoya Customs (led by Ms. Yukako Mochizuki) for their resourcefulness and warm accommodation.

We want, most importantly, to appreciate the pleasant company of Kobayashi-San, our amiable moderator for this programme for her patience, guidance and understanding throughout the programme. We are going to miss you Ms Rei Kobayashi but we shall continue to keep and cherish your memory when we go back to our respective countries.

We will like to assure you Sir that we are going to be priced assets to our Administrations. We wish also to humbly announce that we undertake to be worthy ambassadors of JICA and Japan’s Customs in whatever capacity we find ourselves in future.

At this juncture I will like to share with you some of our personal observations of the Japanese people among whom we were privileged to live in the last 18 days. We feel that the Japanese Society is Careful, Patient and Consistent. Japanese are Charitable and Accommodating. Japan’s physical environment is clean and friendly. The people are healthy and fit.

The Japanese nation has the following astonishing contrasts:

It is ‘Hi Tech’ in all ramifications but ‘Traditional’ in its attitude,
            It seems ‘Complex’ when you are new but very ‘Simple’ when you live therein,
             It is ‘Ambitious’ in its vision yet ‘modest’ in its methodology,
            It is ‘masculine’ in its strength but ‘feminine’ in its sympathy,
             It is ‘capitalist’ in orientation yet ‘humane’ in its behaviour,
             It is ‘strict’ on guidelines yet ‘free’ in its application of those guidelines.
             It is ‘old’ in age but refreshingly ‘young’ in its outlook’.

The Japanese people appreciate where they come from and are focussed unto where they are going. Japan is a happy society with a very strong spirit. A spirit of Persistence, Perseverance and Triumph. A spirit of compliance to constituted authority. A ‘Leading Spirit’ behind which other people look and follow.
Director General Sir, we are happy to be associated with Japan and its Customs Administration through JICA. We will miss Japan and its people. But we have gained knowledge and wisdom for which our societies would hopefully be the better for. We have also made friends for life.

 We therefore have the singular honour to express our personal as well as our respective Administrations’ most profound gratitude for this opportunity.

Thank you for your attention.

(At JICA, TOKYO on 28th May, 2013)