Dec 17, 2009

Public Officers from Indochina and Oceania Visit APU to Learn about Beppu's Onpaku Regional Development Model

From October 26 until November 6, thirteen public officers from Cambodia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vietnam participated in a training course at APU, which had a theme of "Development and Promotion of Regional Industries Utilizing Local Resources for Asia." This training was commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and was held in cooperation with the NPO "Hatto Onpaku" (Beppu Hatto Hot Spring Expo).

Using "Onpaku" as a case model for regional development, participants went to various sites in Beppu where they could see and experience Onpaku first-hand, as well as listen to lectures from locals involved with the project. Onpaku, which began in Beppu in 2001, has grown to become a model for development in ten locations around Japan. Trainees were also able to visit and conduct observations at "Bonpaku" (Miyakonojo Valley Expo) in the city of Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture.

Before and after the observation trips, trainees participated in multiple activities at APU. These included listening to lectures about community capacity development, conducting case studies, having group discussions, and devising action plans that will be useful for future policy-making. Professor MIYOSHI Koichi (APS) and APU Graduate School students facilitated the activities.

2008 APU Master's in International Policies graduate Ms. FUSIMALOHI Lolohea Lilika'i Me'ite (Spring Grad'08, GSAM-ICP, Tonga), who is currently serving as Executive Officer of the Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, participated in the training and actively discussed ideas about using the Onpaku method in Tonga.

APU holds many training programs commissioned by JICA, with more scheduled in the near future. Public officers from Laos will partake in training this December, and a group from the Philippines is scheduled to come in 2010.


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