Waseda University has conducted the EU Executive Training Programme (ETP) in Japan since 2006. The ETP is a human resource development programme organised by the European Union (EU) that provides training for businesspeople of EU corporations looking to enter or expand their business activities in the Japanese market. The programme was launched in 1979 and has a history of more than 30 years.
The ETP is recognised as one of the most successful such programmes operated by the EU, with 20 to 40 businesspeople from EU corporations participating in each cycle for a period of about 12 months. Although the majority of the participants that enter the ETP have little or no Japanese proficiency, they acquire the skills and experience that enable them to present a basic outline of their Japan business plans at the end of the programme and field questions from an audience in Japanese.
The EU and EU corporations have long viewed Japan as a vital market, even through what is commonly called the ‘lost two decades’ of Japan’s economy. In recent years, Japan’s economy has shown signs of recovery, and as such will only grow in terms of importance and presence from the perspective of the EU and EU corporations. Further, we are convinced that there is a vast amount for ETP participants to learn from talent-rich Japanese corporations and the business they conduct, including Japan’s unique style of management, corporate culture, advanced technology and knowhow.
Additionally, as globalisation progresses in today’s world, many Japanese corporations are also making concerted efforts toward globalisation. However, in order to achieve this, it is necessary for Japanese corporations to thoroughly review the strategies, management, mindset and communication style they have cultivated, and given these obstacles it is likely that more than a few firms have encountered difficulties in the process. Amidst these conditions, direct communication with EU businesspeople studying in Japan provides Japanese corporations and their employees not only a chance to learn a great deal and a source of motivation, but is also a rare opportunity to acquire international experience without leaving Japan.
By offering a high-quality programme that incorporates opportunities for exchange between ETP participants and Japanese corporations, the faculty and staff providing support for ETP here at Waseda University are confident that ETP participants will succeed both in deepening their overall knowledge of Japan and knowledge in their area of expertise, and that they will grow to become human resources valuable in bridging the gap between the EU and Japan. We would be grateful for the support of the people and corporations of Japan.
ETP Academic Coordinator, Waseda University