The EU Executive Training Programme (ETP) in Japan is recognised as one of the EU’s most successful business promotion programmes. Many major EU corporations looking to enter or expand their business activities in Japan have sent top executives through the ETP, and to date more than 800 corporations have taken advantage of the programme. Hans Tempel, the former President & CEO at Mercedes-Benz Japan, and Richard Thornley, the former President of Rolls Royce Japan, are just two examples of the many executives who have taken ETP training and gone on to lead representative offices in Japan for EU corporations.
Key conditions for participation in ETP are that participants are citizens of EU member countries, and that their sponsor corporations are clearly ready to do business in Japan. ETP applicants must pass the initial screening and complete a test and interview before they can be successfully enrolled.
The backgrounds of selected participants are varied. For instance, 22 people from 11 countries are enrolled in the 30th cycle of ETP which began in November 2014. Their sponsors include corporations from a wide array of fields including consulting, finance, ICT, food products, apparel, education, and transportation, as well as manufacturers of machinery, electronic devices, building materials, and medical devices.
Sponsor corporations range from newly established companies with revenues in the hundreds of millions of yen to multinational firms. This includes companies already established in Japan but looking to expand operations, those interested in changing their management structures in Japan, as well as firms looking to enter the Japanese market for the first time. The trainees are aged from their 20s to 40s, and rank from junior managers through to senior executives of small to medium-sized firms.