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IAC News No.103, May 2021

Japan Society of Civil Engineers  International Activities Center May 6, 2021 IAC News No.103

Japanese Civil Engineers the Global Leaders Symposium Series17 East-West Road Improvement Project (N-70), Pakistan

On March 2, we held the Japanese Civil Engineers the Gloal Leaders Sympsosium Series No.17, East-West Road Improvement Project (N-17), Pakistan online. That project received the JSCE Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award for 2019 fiscal year. At first, Mr. Nobuhiro Kawatani, Director of South Asia Division 2, South Asia Department, JICA, made a presentation on the projects implemetnted in Pakistan, suppoeted by JICA. Next, Mr. Akio Okazaki, from CTI Engineering International Co., Ltd. talked of technical aspects of the project. After that, lecturers from Taisei Corporation, Mr. Taketo Matsumoto, Mr. Masaru Hirano, Mr. Shigeharu Sawada, and Mr. Katsunori Yasui, made presentations on execution of the construction works, technical features, difficulties faced such as security problems, and life at the construction site camp. The unfamiliar scenery of Pakistan and the appearance of mountain roads constructed in steep areas using Japan’s road construction technology were very impressive.

The symposium online had as many as 227 viewers, much more than the capacity of the 2nd-floor auditorium of the JSCE Headquarters. The interest in Pakistan, the high technical quality of the project, and the specificity of the project seemed interesting and attracive for many people. About 40% of the audience was from outside the capital area, and two of the speakers were from overseas. The online style used this time was started to cope with the COVID-19 situation, we’ll continue to respond to the social environment flexibly, and convey the Japanese civil engineers who take a leadership in overseas projects and make contribution to the development of infurstrucutre to the wider world.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Dr. Hitoshi Ieda, the JSCE president, for his closing remarks in the end of the symposium.

The next symposium, on “New Ulaanbaatar Airport Project”, will be held on May 31. Please check the details on the webiste https://committees.jsce.or.jp/kokusai/node/215 .


Japanese Civil Engineers the Global Leaders Symposium No.17

【Reported by Masaru Suzuki, Leader, Project Group, IAC】

The Japan-Vietnam Information Exchange Conference
Webinar 「Possibility of Utilizing New Technology in Infrastructure Development」

In Japan, the use of new technologies such as ICT is taking further strides in the field of social infrastructure development. In the field of infrastructure development in Vietnam, just like in Japan, there has been a great deal of interest shown in efficient and effective infrastructure development and maintenance using new technologies in recent years. That is why the Vietnam Group of the International Activities Center’s International Exchange Group, the Vietnam Section, and Vietnam Japan University joined forces to hold the Japan-Vietnam Information Exchange Conference on February 27, 2021. We initially planned to hold a seminar-style event in Hanoi that would include speakers from Japan, but due to the impact of COVID-19, we decided that it was an inappropriate time to travel to Hanoi and engage in activities in which we would invite a large number of participants, and so we changed the event to a webinar format instead. Efforts to encourage people to participate in the webinar were led by Professor Phan Le Binh of Vietnam Japan University, with more than 80 people applying to take part. On the day of the webinar, 60 people participated despite the fact that it was held on Saturday. During the webinar, three experts provided topics for discussion.

Many students and young trainees, especially from the Vietnamese side, attended the conference, and by having one academic expert and one field expert from Japan, and one academic expert from Vietnam introduce the latest case studies on the use of ICT technology, it created an opportunity for the attendees to learn many new things. The attendance of professors affiliated to Vietnam Japan University from the Japanese side as well made it possible to have fruitful discussions, and the event functioned as an opportunity for regular exchanges at a time in which engineers from both countries tend to be estranged from others due to the impact of COVID-19. It will be a good idea to continue holding webinars next year as a means of connecting busy academic and field experts from both countries.


Online Conference





Presentation by Professor Hyodo


【Reported Yosui Seki, President of the Vietnam Section of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers
(ALMEC Corporation) 】

‐ Student Voice ‐
“My Journey from the Middle East to the Far East (Planet Nihon)”

Mohamed Saied Gharieb
(Nagasaki University)

Hi! I'm Mohamed from Egypt. I've been a teaching assistant at the Egyptian National Institute of Transport (ENIT) since 2014. I graduated from Banha University, majoring in highway and traffic engineering. I gained my master's degree from Cairo University. In April 2019, I was granted a scholarship funded by JICA as a doctoral student in the field of road and bridge asset management for three years in one of the respected Japanese universities, Nagasaki University.I am very grateful to my supervisor Nishikawa Sensei and JSCE for giving me this opportunity to share some of my thoughts about Planet Nihon (as Egyptians call it) since I was a child till my arrival in Japan. All I know about Japan when I was a child are Japanese anime movies. After that, in my youth, I became more familiar with technology, and the name of Japan was related to high-quality technological industries like robots, cars, household electronic appliances, video games, … etc. It has been two years since I arrived in Japan, especially Nagasaki city. I was shocked when I reached the city for the first time as I found it clean, modernize, and has a fascinated nature, unlike what I expected of a city bombed in the second world war.

Nagasaki prefecture has many tourist and historical spots, which I've visited, like; Hashima Island, Huis Ten Bosch, Inasa-Yama Park, Atomic Bomb Museum, and Peace Park. During the school holidays, I've visited many other prefectures like Tokyo, Osaka, Ibaraki, Chiba, Saga, Gifu, Nagoya, and Fukuoka. I used to participate in many outdoor activities like swimming, fishing, jogging, and hiking. I remember a pleasant time here in Nagasaki this winter since I saw snow for the first time as it doesn't snow in Egypt. Also, the lights of Tokyo neighborhoods like Shibuya and Ginza are really something to miss. For me, every day is new, exciting, and offering me lots of new experiences. Japanese people are ultra-polite, punctual, and workaholics. The longer you spend in Japan, the more you adapt to the Japanese lifestyle.

Since I'm a Muslim, I have some food restrictions that encourage me to cook and prepare my meals. But I also like Japanese cuisines like: Sushi, Onigiri, Takoyaki, Gyudon, Tempura, and Sashimi. It is also important to say that after reservation, the university provides Muslim students with a place where they can pray, talk, and celebrate their holidays freely and safely. I really appreciate their respect for our religious beliefs. I should say that my daily life was not easy without speaking Japanese, so I decided to take Japanese language classes almost after a year, which helped me deal in school, city hall, bank, and shopping malls.

COVID-19 has been harsh on all of us, and we became accustomed to a new way of living full of challenges. One of these challenges for me is travel restriction that did not enable me from taking a vacation for nearly two years which sometimes makes me feel homesick. But I should say that the way the Japanese government dealt with COVID-19 was gorgeous, which kept everyone safe. I am fortunate to live in Japan during that difficult time.

Regarding school life, I successfully passed all doctoral courses in the first year. After a long discussion with my supervisor Nishikawa Sensei, I finalized my research plan about developing pavement deterioration models for Laos National Road Network. The proposed models help decision-makers in planning, setting priorities for maintenance and rehabilitation of deteriorated roads. Also, I have participated in many short-term training courses organized by JICA, where I've got much valuable information about road and bridge asset management techniques. During weekdays, the university provides many amusement facilities to relieve studying stress like football court, tennis court, gym, badminton court, and fun music activities where I participated in them all.

After graduation, I'll come back to Egypt. I'll work on initiating a new diploma and short-term training courses at ENIT in the field of Road and Bridge Asset Management, in which the knowledge acquired in Japan will be transferred to the future engineers at ENIT.

Finally, I wish to express my sincere respect and profound thanks to JICA and my supervisor for giving me this opportunity to complete my higher studies and provide me with all facilities to complete my research successfully. Overall, Japan is somewhere I think everyone should visit not only for studying but for entertainment too. It's like nowhere else on the planet, from futuristic skyscrapers to forests, beaches, shopping malls, and temples. It's a wonderful cultural and educational experience that I'll never forget in my whole life. I do encourage all international students to come and study in Japan.


While Climbing the Mountain, Nagasaki

Short-term Training Program, JICA, Osaka


Field Data Collection, Laos


【Reported by Mohamed Saied Gharieb, Nagasaki University】



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