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IAC News No.30, April 2015

Japan Society of Civil Engineers  International Activities Center Apr. 1, 2015 IAC News No.30 

Senior Director of International Affairs Division

International Exchange and Networking

The JSCE is working actively at home and abroad to advance science and technology, improve social infrastructure, and develop human resources. These activities range from competition to cooperation and assistance and are carried out regardless of country’s borders. The Japanese language, however, is a barrier to international communications, which is not the case for countries that use English or French as their native tongues. Although Japan has an array of civil engineering technologies that can benefit society, only a few have become established as world standards. To promote interest in Japan’s civil engineering technologies, it is essential to actively approach people overseas.

The IAC publishes information in English, promotes interactions with foreign academic societies, and hosts international conferences. JSCE’s overseas branches carry out activities in their host countries. Through these efforts, we have been establishing networks with people outside Japan.

To effectively disseminate English-language information, the content must be well organized. I hope that the JSCE’s committees should present reports and other documents in English as well as in Japanese. Moreover, national meetings should be bilingual.

To promote networking with overseas researchers and engineers, Japanese engineers who are posted overseas should enroll in the JSCE as regular members with their companies’ support. University teachers offering guidance for overseas students should establish lines of communication so that the JSCE can regularly send information to the students. This may prompt overseas students who have returned home to take an interest in JSCE’s activities. We can then approach them to join a branch of the JSCE.

The overseas branches are venues for Japanese and foreign members to meet and exchange useful information. Hopefully, these interactions will develop further, leading to research cooperation, technical cooperation, joint investigations of disasters, project development, and joint participation in enterprises.

We earnestly invite everyone to participate in JSCE’s international activities.


JSCE and its overseas counterpart sign an Agreement of Cooperation

IAC hosts ad-hoc themed seminar series


Cheng Li
(WASEDA University)

The reason I choose Japan and civil engineering

The first time I visited Japan, I was fascinated by its beauty, and continued curious about the principle and method how an island country, with scarce resources even 68% covered by trees, makes itself material recycling country and friendly coexistence with environment.

I was interested in civil engineering since childhood, always wondering how big cities set up, how high-rises built up, since Shanghai was during most rapid development decade in civil construction and economy after I born.

At the annual meeting of Japan Society on Water Environment

After four-year study in environmental engineering, I acquired both strong academic knowledge and solid practical know-how. The more I learn, the eager I feel like to go to an advanced country in civil engineering to further my education, to enhance my knowledge and to broaden my perspective.

Japan’s advanced technologies showed in class and some environmental equipment and pollution control technology exhibitions always surprised me a lot. I visited Kyushu University, moved by Japan's biodiversity conservation, water resources management and water cycle control. Field trip to drinking water treatment plants and solid waste disposal site also impressed me greatly with mature membrane technology and environmental friendly ideas.

I enjoy feeding a deer at Nara Park

Waseda University gave me the chance to study in Japan, the country with most high technology and research in environmental issues, state-of-the-art academic philosophy and methodology. In academic aspect, I am always excited with every progress in research, hoping some part of our research can be practical use some day. Prof. Sakakibara gave me a lot of chances to present my research on JSCE, JSWE, and other international conferences to communicate with all researchers in such field. On the other hand, I worked as a volunteer in UNEP-Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development in some international environmental conferences. Now I am doing translation part-time job in Japan Society of Civil Engineers. All of these broaden my global perspective and further develop my interests in civil engineering.

As we all know, Japan holds most advanced civil engineering technology all over the world. Since civil infrastructure has been almost accomplished in Japan, now most companies are expanding overseas business to help developing countries in urban construction with cooperation with JICA. In February, I was lucky enough to have the chance to join internship organized by Hitachi. By visiting several offices and factories relating to civil engineering in Japan, I was moved by feeling of trust that Hitachi offers to customers established on continuous high quality since entrepreneurship. As a student studying abroad, gained a lot from Japan, I am eager to work as a member in civil engineering field here and give my contribution.


Report on Hosting the Construction Industry Global Vision Lecture Series, “A Global Strategy for the Construction Industry: In Dialogue with World Leaders.” “Learn from Consultants around the World.

Mr. Bueno delivers a presentation

The International Activities Center and the Construction Management Committee hosted the Construction Industry Global Vision Lecture Series, “A Global Strategy for the Construction Industry: In Dialogue with World Leaders” on February 27, 2015. The topic was, “Learn from Consultants around the World.”
Investment in new construction in Japan is expected to decline. To secure an important position in both overseas and domestic business, the construction sector will move forward with strategic activities in the world’s construction market without relying on ODA works. This lecture meeting was an opportunity for Japan’s construction industry to discuss global business strategies with the leader of a major international company.

The topic of this meeting was, “Learn from Consultants around the World.” The guest speaker was Mr. Pablo Bueno, the CEO of TYPSA, the leading Spanish consulting company with a global presence. He also chairs the FIDIC, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers.Mr. Pablo spoke about the ideal overseas business operation strategy for consulting firms, citing TYPSA’s experience in the world market. Mr. Noriaki Hirose, the JSCE President-Elect, and Mr. Katsuji Fukumoto, Chairman of the Construction Management Committee, then described the current situation and future development of overseas operations by Japanese construction businesses, comparing their operations with those of globally operating companies.

Mr. Bueno shares his views with other panelists

In a panel discussion, six participants from industry, government, and academia discussed how the Japanese construction sector, including consulting firms, should promote overseas operations. The panelists included Mr. Makio Shichijyo from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Mr. Akihiko Hirotani from Oriental Consultants Global Co., Ltd., and Prof. Kazumasa Ozawa from the Graduate School of the University of Tokyo. The Committee Chairman, Mr. Katsuji Fukumoto, served as the moderator.
The lecture attracted more than 220 people. After a lively question and answer session, the meeting concluded.
This lecture focused on consultants. In future lectures in this series, we plan to take up general contractors, etc. The schedule and details of future lectures will be announced on the JSCE website.

What's Happening

  • 2015/6/12-13  The Institution of Engineers, Pakistan’s Annual Convention & Civil Engineering Congress, (Karachi, Pakistan)
  • 2015/6/18-20  2015 MACE Annual Meeting (Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia),



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Editor's postscript

We have reached No. 30 since we started publishing the IAC News three years ago. Have you noticed the new look of the newsletter?  It is simple, fresh and clean. I wish I would not be self applauding.

April reminds us of cherry trees in full bloom, at the same time, new beginnings. While viewing flowering cherry trees, we will get a fresh start and continue our effort to deliver you new and interesting news in the IAC News.   (E.T.)