F A Q s
I have been asked many questions about why I am starting a new research activities in Asia, and why I am moving Malaysia, I hope this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) will help provide some answers:
- Why Asia?
- First, it's my personal experience. Over the past 2 or 3 years, I have been to many Internet and communications related meetings across the AP region, in Beijing, Hong Kong, Manila and many in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. I had a strong feeling on emerging 'energy' mostly from young pioneers in the region. I had also begun to feel 'saturated' with my efforts in Japan, I have been since 1992, and these technologies are now widely accepted now, at least as far as the perception is concerned.
I also thought that in addition to being blessed with much knowledge and wisdom from the West, we from Japan should give something back in some manner to the wider Asian community.
A More personal motivation is that I've never lived abroad and thus am interested in living outside Japan.
- What do you want to do?
- Ultimately, I want to help promote and defuse the use of computer networking such as Internet in the less developed countries in Asia, to contribute the growth of emerging new society.
In 1995, I learned that a project called PAN(Pan Asia Networking) based in Singapore, which was trying to connect developing countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, and Mongolia. I was highly impressed with their activities and its value, and tried to obtain support from Japanese industry. But I found that these companies are not too interested in areas that cannot produce short-term business interests. Then I thought maybe if I can help the Japanese business to operate in Asia, in areas of Internet, telecommunications and IT, then I can sustain my support activities for PAN and similar projects.
- Why Malaysia?
- I first thought Singapore naturally as a base to cover the whole South East Asian region. I've visited Singapore often and got to know the people, both local and Japanese. The social infrastructure, including airport, road and all the living environments in Singapore is very well established. Yet cost of living is high, and the society as a whole seemed to be reaching it's "limit of growth" I felt. Many Singaporean and Japanese friends doing business in Singapore all suggested that I consider Kuala Lumpur!
Then came the "Multimedia Super Corridor" project. I also had the good fortune to meet with Dr. Tengku Azzman, Director of MIMOS (Malaysian Institute for Microelectronics and Systems) 6 times in 1996, our paths kept on crossing! Dr. Azzman is a leading Asian voice in IT and networking fields, and he kindly invited me to consider Malaysia. At the same time, Shumpei Kumon, director of GLOCOM, my immediate boss, and Morihiko Hiramatsu, Governor of Oita, the home to COARA, were both elected to the MSC's International Advisory Panel(IAP) by the Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
However, the final decision to settle in Malaysia was mostly based on cost factors, but Singapore is still important, I hope to open a liaison office there in the near future.
- How long are you going to stay in KL?
- I really don't know. At least 2 years, I would say. Because the change of pace in the Internet world is so rapid no one can predict the future, say 3 years and beyond. I will try to be very flexible at best.
- How do you sustain your operation?
- Good question! I am forming "Asia Internet Study Group (AISG)" - a membership body who will contribute the fee for the funding I need. IHNS (Institute for HyperNetwork Society) and GLOCOM, two institutions I've worked for in Japan will continue to support me and ANR.
- So, you are NOT leaving IHNS or GLOCOM?
- No at all. I will continue to work with them without even changing the job title. I will try to contribute in an Asian context, to help link Japan and other Asian nations. Asia related issues are becoming increasingly important to the Japanese.
- Are you bringing your family as well?
- For the first year, Yes. After that they may go back, mostly for educational reasons.
- How do I contact you?
- E-mail is best. Please send any message to: firstname.lastname@example.org