March 25: Oita-Malaysia Information Industry Exchange Symposium
by Mieko Nagano: Oita Japan

Welcome to Oita ! It's so nice to meet the guests from Malaysia here in Oita. I believe we are the "neighbors" of South-east Asia. I am very interested in the MSC project being promoted in your country. I hope to exchange opinions through the meeting to develop our friendship based upon "Local to Local" principles. I think we will have much to learn from each other.
For the time being, let's start from a small step we share today. Thank you.

Today at 1 p.m., we are going to have an International meeting "Oita-Malaysia Information Industry Exchange Symposium", as a part of "Local to Local Industry Exchange (mini LL) Campaign" sponsored by JETRO, in Peacock Hall on the fifth floor of Oita Daiichi Hotel.
The hall is equipped with tables, three TV monitors in set the center, and a large screen hanging down on the front wall. Staff of Hyper Network Society Research (HNSC) and Heart, a web contents maker, work busily for the preparation of the machine.
On the back of the Hall is a simultaneous interpreter box. On the table are many papers and earphones. Now attendants show up, this is Mr. Harushige Mori, smiling and at ease, an active member of our COARA. On the back right, a video camera is ready to take live film to be aired on the web.
Panelists; from right, Mr. Aizu (president of Asia Network Research) who takes chair today, Mr. Tooru Ono (HNSC and the general secretariat of COARA), Mr. Takada of JETRO who sponsors the meeting, Mr. Ono of CADIX who makes business in Malaysia. Mr. Takada made an opening speech, saying "I am very glad to expect a new relationship between Malaysia and Oita through today's meeting."
Guest panelists from Malaysia: from left Mr. Narayanan Kanan (Director of Regulation Department 'Flagship' of Multimedia Super Corridor - MSC -) who introduced the recent developments of MSC; Mr. Ching Wai Ming (executive director of Netcard Co., Ltd.) who runs Net-Kiosk, a sort of Internet access from special end-terminals set in the public spaces using Smart Cards; Mr. Alan Fung (Association of the Computer Industry Malaysia); and Mr. Chean Kah Lip (Chief Operating Officer of AKINET Co., Ltd - a web design company.) He is still in twenties.
Cheah Kah Lip made a pleasant presentation (left) using a movie on the back ground of light music. Mr. Ono appealed the history and present developments of COARA in terms of "Cyber Industry." Mr. Mori took over the theme and appealed his expectation to set sail for actual Internet business. His home page is projected on the back screen. Front left-end is Miss Tomonari, a panelist from COARA office. Mr. Sami (General manager of Oita prefecture's Industry and Sightseeing department), Mr. Matsunaga (preparation office of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University) made an impressive presentation respectively. Mr. Usuduki of Cadix introduced his company's activity in Malaysia in the title of "A business possibility of Japanese corporations in Malaysia." Cadix has a branch in Oita as well.
After a long talk exceeding the schedule, Mr. Takata made the final speech, proposing "We hope the present exchange between the two countries will develop into a multi-national business relationship that includes another country." In the next room, we had a reception mixing.
The guests from Malaysia make toast as well. On the right is Mrs. Chin.
As the dishes looked like beautiful, I took some pictures of them. Fruit dishes on the left and cakes on the right. I took as as much as three kinds of cakes.
Beautifully cooked fish in Chinese style (left) and fresh fish of famous Seki brand horse mackerel (right.) There were so many tasty dishes on the table.
The pleasure of a reception is to exchange with many people. Two ladies of COARA office, Miss Tomonari (left) and Miss Kusamoto (right) are pleasantly chatting with Mrs. Chin. Mr. Kurita from Beppu boasts of his new digital camera.
Mr. Chin exchanges with my husband about the Net-Kiosk (left), Chin introduced that in Malaysia, people can connect the web, without having a computer, from a terminal in the street at the rate of $1.5-US an hour. Right picture, from left, Mr. Ozora, president of Ozora Paper Co., Ltd, Mr. Himeno president of Sourin Printing Co., Ltd., and Mr. Fujio, a member of the company and COARA as well.
Mr. Taketa, my husband's old business friend (left) who is teaching Japanese in the International Exchange Center of Oita on a volunteer basis, exchanges with the general secretariat of "Earth-people Club."
The grand reception was over. I visited a futon shop, "Morimura Bedclothes" run by Mr. Mori who served as a panelist today, opened anew a couple of days ago.
The shop was beautifully renewed (left.) Many nice bedclothes including popular pillows of buckwheat hull and their sample boxes (right.) Mr. Mori said the pillow of this type is appealing to overseas customers. I hope he makes a good deal.

Regular OBS radio Multimedia Cafe COARA(Japanese only) on every Thursday
Todays special guests are, of course, the members from Malaysia. They showed up at the gallery room in front of the studio just before 8 p.m., the start hour of the program. They look like to be interested in the program as it is aired on radio and on the web simultaneously.
Mr. Aizu entered the booth and talked about the history of COARA with Mr. Ono. Malaysian guests also enjoy the program through the interpretation. One of the guests was asked his impression of Oita. He answered "I am interested in the Internet activities here in Oita because I have learned that the wide range of the people are enjoying the web." I was delighted to hear that. I felt I would visit Malaysia some day.
Next Mie Home