Daily Archives: 19 April 2006

Model Japanese Entrepreneur in Cambodia

The Asahi Shimbun carried a story on 19 April about a model Japanese business entrepreneur in Cambodia.

SIEM REAP, Cambodia–Two years ago, a savvy Japanese tour guide saw her chance to fill a business niche here.

Sachiko Kojima opened a cookie factory. She was soon supplying foreign tourists from Japan and around the globe with souvenir confections from this northern Cambodia city, the gateway to the Angkor Wat Khmer ruins.

Her “Madam Sachiko” cookies, shaped like the ancient ruins, are now the must-buy souvenir for tourists visiting the city.

Kojima, 33, who grew up in Gunma Prefecture, runs her business with Japanese management finesse. But her company, Khmer Angkor Foods Co., procures all its ingredients from Cambodian suppliers. The factory includes a bakery, sales shop and head office….

In the shop and bakery, Kojima follows a Japanese business style. The shop’s interior is attractive and inviting. The factory is clean and sanitary. Her employees follow rules similar to workers in Japan: No sitting down and no eating or drinking while on duty in the shop.

Foreigners in Cambodia rarely start businesses outside of travel agencies and restaurants. Kojima had the choice of starting up as a non-governmental organization (NGO), which would have received tax breaks and other advantages.

However, she was determined to form a privately owned, for-profit company.

“I think the people here need to see examples of basic business ideas, such as how to make a profit and how to pay taxes,” she said.

via Colby Cosh

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Filed under Cambodia, economics, Japan

Aussie Troops Back to the Solomons

Australian troops are heading back to the Solomon Islands to quell another outbreak of violence after the latest elections, the BBC reports.

Some 180 Australian soldiers and police have begun arriving in the country to try to impose order after a written request from the Solomons government. A smaller contingent of additional New Zealand peacekeepers are set to arrive on Thursday.

But the BBC’s Phil Mercer says there are concerns that the presence of more foreign troops could inflame the situation in the troubled city.

About 280 Australian police were already in the country as part of a regional force sent to restore peace in 2003, after violence stirred up by local warlords left hundreds dead and 20,000 displaced.

Wednesday’s rioting came after newly-elected MPs met in secret to elect a new prime minister.

‘Chinese connections’

Mr Rini, 56, beat off two main rivals in Tuesday’s secret ballot for the leadership – former Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Job Dudley Tausinga, leader of the new Rural Advancement Party.

He is accused of being too closely linked to former Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza’s administration, which was tainted by corruption allegations.

As usual, the Head Heeb is already on the case.

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Japanese Straggler in Ukraine

BBC News reports on yet another long-lost Japanese soldier finding his way back to Japan.

A Japanese ex-soldier who disappeared after World War II and was officially declared dead in 2000 has turned up alive in Ukraine.

Ishinosuke Uwano [上野石之助] was serving with the Japanese Imperial Army in Russia’s Sakhalin Island when the war ended. He was last reported seen there in 1958.

The 83-year-old has now reappeared, in Ukraine, where he is married and has a family, Japanese officials say.

Mr Uwano is due to visit Japan for the first time in six decades on Wednesday.

He is expected to visit his surviving family members and friends in Iwate, 290 miles (467 km) northeast of Tokyo, with his son before returning to Ukraine on 28 April, the AFP news agency reported.

The family’s last reported sighting of him was on Sakhalin in 1958; after that they lost all contact with him.

He’ll arrive in Iwate just in time to see the cherry blossoms he has expressed a desire to see. Uwano has pretty much forgotten his Japanese, but speaks Russian quite fluently, it seems.

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Filed under Japan, Ukraine