Newsletter No.60

Dear Members:

Come April 2009 will be another Annual General Meeting (AGM) as we have just completed a year term in office. It is time to look back as how much we have achieved and strive further to realize the team of dedicated committee members who served selflessly for the progress of the Alumni.

This month also coincide with the term ending for our AOTS General Manager, Kodaira-san who will be leaving home for Tokyo to take up another position in the AOTS Head Office. On behalf of everyone we would like to thank him for his support working in collaboration for the successful completion of the various activities and programs.

At the same time we would also like to thank our dedicated and dear friend Encik Yunos who will be retiring after serving 15 years with AOTS Kuala Lumpur Office. On behalf of the Alumni our sincere gratitude and best wishes to Kodaira-san and Encik Yunos. Best wishes to both of them and hope that they are blessed with good health and ever happiness in their future undertaking.

It is also time for us to strengthen and evaluate our financial standing of our Alumni as we are now facing the global financial slowdown and recession. Industries and businesses alike including individuals are now taking stringent steps to face the challenges ahead. Our committee is now drawing up precautionary steps as to strengthen financial and budgetary control so as to avoid been caught unaware of the effect which may likely to effect our revenue. We will have to strike a balance in our spending and yet able to continuously having to serve our members. I am sure with the team work of the dedicated committee members and staff members we are able to sail through the stormy weather.

Thank you and wishing everyone good health and happiness always.


CL Yang . PJM

Best wishes to Kodaira-san

Our annual project on 5S/ Kaizen for School is progressing well. A presentation was held at the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan USJ 12 in Subang Jaya recently. The team of more than 100 teachers and administrative staff attended our briefing on the forthcoming project. All attendees were very engrossed and enthusiastic to have such activities to further enchance the good housekeeping for the school. Sub-committee for specific tasks will be formed to implement the series of activities for the 5S/ Kaizen project. It is hope that with the pilot project launch in the school, it will inculcate and uphold our social responsibilities for the community.

The engrossed attendees from
the teachers and administrative staff

Presentation / meeting for the
5S/ Kaizen at the school

AOTS has decided to withdraw two Japanese General Managers from our overseas – one is unfortunately from KL Office. I will start working in Tokyo from this April. This decision was made due to the 30% decrease of AOTS budget in FY2009.

From this April, AOTS KL Office has only three staff – Ms. Anne, Ms. Chong, and Ms. Ong. However, we will still continue AOTS training programs for Malaysian people in Japan and in Malaysia. There are still more than 200 Malaysian trainees going to Japan under AOTS scheme per year, and a few hundreds of Malaysian participants who attend training programs in Malaysia or in ASEAN countries every year.

I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to all the CCM members, staff of PAAM, and all other members. Now I recognize again how AOTS Alumni Societies are important for AOTS to make network and friendship. Whenever I travelled to local cities such as Penang, Johor Bahru, and Sabah, I could always meet AOTS ex-participants and members of Alumni. I am always impressed by implementation of PAAM activities and I am sure that you can continue and improve your activities with Mr. Yang, President of PAAM, present CCM members and two dedicated staff.

My two years service in Malaysia is too short for me. The first year was just to get used to different culture, food, climate, and so on from Japan. It was no problem for me, but it took some time for my family. We could enjoy more in the second year both my work and private life – it mean we get used to Malaysian ways! This year is 50th Anniversary of AOTS, so I look forward to seeing many of you in Japan in October for this anniversary events and the World Convention of Alumni Societies in Yokohama Kenshu Center [YKC]. Even after I go back to Japan, our friendship will never end.

I wish all of your happiness, prosperity, and good health for now and future. See you in Japan in October!

Best regards,

Masami Kodaira,

General Manager of AOTS KL Office

Kaizen-simple ideas-commendable impact. Here are some selected ideas by fellow-Malaysians. We hope some of those ideas are appliacable in your places of work and we wish you every success in your endeavour for Kaizen. Look forward for more ideas in the next issue.

Source : Kenshu Magazine

No. 149 Autumn 1998

By: En. Mohd Hakim Mohd Nor

I’ve visited Japan several times before but never had the opportunity to visit western Honshu. I’d read several tour brochures showing the natural beauty countryside and those beautiful snow-laden mountain range of the Japanese Alps which made me more determined to plan a trip soon. However, the idea of the trip went almost forgotten until one day my wife told me that that she wished to experience an autumn season and to see for real how leaf turns golden brown. I could not believe what I’d heard and I did not ask any question that could make her change her mind but immediately made preparation for the trip despite the costly air-ticket due to the 2008 fuel price-hike. Like a dream, I was in Japan again on 9th October 2008; it was 7:20am in the morning when the plane landed in Kansai International Airport. With my limited command of Japanese I managed to buy 2 tickets a going west on an Express Train. We took the opportunity to tour the Airport and had coffee from the dispenser until it was time to board the train. As soon as the train was leaving the City and as we traveled further into the countryside, the beautiful and enchanting scenery of paddy fields with the beautiful mountain range in the background whose color were then gradually changing from green to light brown. Then, after 3 hours, the porter informed that the train will ends her trip at the next station, it was Toyama Station.

Being the first time in Toyama, I was little nervous and worry because I must look for a reasonably cheap hotel so as not to unnecessary lose the Ringgit’s value over the expensive Yen. There was a huge and beautiful hotel right front of the station but my hands were in the pockets tightly protecting the Ringgits. As I was figuring out which direction I Should start out, as it was well over lunch time and the last meal was that papercup of coffee at the Airport, we were hungry, really hungry. We went from restaurant to the other not looking for the right food but the right price. Well! Then I saw at the far end corner of Toyama Station where a crowd was standing holding bowls and chopsticks and the signboard read UDON 350 Yen. It was decided that our 1st meal in Japan was hot, cheap and delicious udon. Despite having to stand did not mind us at all and we ordered a second bowl each. (700 Yen = RM24.50) x2. It was not cheap after all ne!
In the coming issue, my story will continue on how I managed 5 days lodging-free, just like home in the City of Toyama.

Mata, ne!

By: En. A. Aziz Y. Kamaruddin

I was slightly off my normal “take-off” time to go to the office. As the thought floated in while I was driving, that I could be late (a minute or two) to punch-in at the office door, I realized that “little things mean a lot”.

At a training seminar in June 2008, the trainer informed that the doors would close at 10.45 a.m. I was in the long queue to get a cup of coffee, and it was already 10.40 a.m. The long walk to the seminar room with the hot coffee cup ensured I missed the 10.45 a.m. window. Some ladies missed the 10.45 window because of the queue in the toilet. All had to wait window of opportunity. There were murmurings of complaint of the lack of sufficient toilet facilities. These were ignored. I didn’t dare murmur about the coffee queue. It was 15 minutes later that the doors were opened. Will you feel good to go in, with all eyes on you? Don’t you regret missing some of the information that was imparted during the 15 minutes you were “locked out”? Especially if the speaker was a multi-millionaire?

This particular trainer was similarly raving and ranting at another seminar that I attended. Those who attended his seminar for the first time would be wondering, “Why does he rant and rave, as if possessed by naughty spirits, over a little one or two minutes or 5 minutes delay in entering the seminar room, by 5% of the participants?” Why do you think that he insisted that you are on time? And every time? I attended a Quality Management training seminar organized by Japan’s Association for Overseas Techical Scholarship (AOTS) in Yokohama, Japan in July 1992. We were given a revised travel itinerary sheet, one day after the original was given. I scrutinized the sheet to see what the revision was all about. It was that the time for the arrival of the Shinkansen had been revised from 1042 to 1041. A difference of 1 fricking minute! Do you think it is that important to revise the sheet? If you arrived at the station platform exactly at 1042, would it be important for you to have received the revised itinerary copy? The Japanese are known for their attention to detail. Sticklers for punctuality. Worship the God of Quality. Are you surprised that the Japanese economy developed super fast from the ashes of World War II? That Toyota has overtaken General Motors (GM)?

That Toyota has big cash reserves, while GM will go bankrupt soon (if there is no government cash bail out)? Have you attended meetings where the Meeting Chairman is late? What do you think of the Chairman? Thank your lucky stars because you too were delayed (hehehe … not you of course, but your friends)?

I once worked for one of the biggest (if it was not the biggest) multinational oil corporation in the world. Meetings were always on time. The Meeting Chairman always started the meeting on time, and it generally ended on time. Do you have respect for whoever chaired the meeting? Do you think the organization is a fricking good one, or a mediocre one? Would you be a better employee, or manager, if you worked in this corporation? You are aware that “Procrastination is a thief of time”. Yet, how many people (no, … not you, of course) procrastinate? You may miss the Shinkansen train. You may miss the golden business opportunity. You may miss the marriage wagon … so, go tell him (or her) that he (or she) is the answer to your lonely prayer … an angel from above … NOW! PRONTO! The moral of the story? Little things mean a lot, because what you do for the little things, reflects what you do for the big things. If you do not know how to manage your present income of $10,000 a year, you will not know how to manage an income of &1,000,000. If you mismanage your $10,000 income now, you will mismanage the future $1,000,000 dowry that you receive from your future beautiful wife. Even the future beautiful bungalow that is part of the marriage dowry you will receive. You got it? … I mean … not the money and the bungalow … hehehe!

I wish you Success in your undertakings, and Good Health and Wealth to you and your family. Take care!

27th December 2008 ~ 2nd January 2009
Opening ceremony at MISDEC on 28th

Malaysia welcomes Hippo Families with “Selamat Datang”

Fourteen participants (from 4 families) arrived in Malaysia to spend their winter holiday and experience “Kampung” lifestyles. All the way to Malacca (their homestay destination), participants enjoyed the trip by singing and showing their scrap book to everybody inside the bus. We arrived at Melacca Industrial Skills Development Center (MISDEC), our counterpart organization in Malacca, at 12.30 pm. Participants were welcomed by the traditional beating of the kompang. En. Zamrud, Executive Director of MISDEC and Mr. K. T. Khor from PAAM gave warm welcoming speeches. Later in the afternoon, the participants shared their moments with the host families by taking photos and introducing themselves. !

PAAM giving a token of appreciation to En. Zamrud, Executive Director of MISDEC, Malacca

A photo to remember

Match-matching with host families

 Get to know session within themselves

Your Central Committee Members

From this issues we shall briefly introduce each committee, an opportunity to know them better. In this issue, we are honor to introduce the president, Mr. Yang Chor Leong

Mr. Yang Chor Leong – President 2008 – 2010 H/P No.: 016-2958383 Email:


I attended the Logistics Management Program in 2004 at Yokohana and upon my return, I promised myself that I would like to get involve and contribute in whatever way to the Alumni. With the encouragement by then the General Manager of the Malaysian office Mr. Nichikawa and the team of dedicated council members headed by the President, Encik Aziz Kamaruddin extended their full- hearted support to welcome me as their committee member. Never realized and dreamt that today I am now taking position in leading and became the 6th. President of PAAM.


I started having my own company 7 years ago, named “Strategic Alliance Resources (Asia Pacific) Sdn Bhd. The company produces Deodorizer and Anti-Bacterial Crisper mainly for the refrigeration industry. My products are exported and used by the Panasonic Group of companies in this region. Our product Trade Mark and Brand name is “DEOCOOL” I spent more than 20 years in employment, practicing in the field of Materials Management before I embarked on my own. My work-career was mainly in the manufacturing sectors, just to name a few: Matsushita Electric, Yanmar Diesel, Nakamichi Malaysia and Chung Hwa Picture Tubes. With the experience and skills acquired from these Multi National Companies, it gives me the exposure of knowledge and the added advantage in taking the challenges in managing the business. I believe, the basic principle to face the challenges in business is still the human factor and in meeting and providing customer satisfaction and product reliabilities at the right price.


I am blessed with a happy family with 2 grown up kids. My elder daughter is attached with the financial institution, and my son is a medical practitioner. Both graduated from Australia. My other half is sharing the responsibilities of taking care of my business and she was once attached with the national airline.

It is a practice in Japan that women give men chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Every year in February you will find ling lines of women in front of confectionary counters of department stores. In the mid-1930s, a Western confectionary company advertised their products on Valentine’s day.

After that many more companies capitalized on the idea. As a result, the practice of giving chocolates on Valentine’s Day become widespread. Now, giving away chocolates is not only to someone you like, but to male bosses and colleagues “obligatory chocolates” and to female friends “friends chocolates”. Today, almost a fifth of the chocolates consumed are sold around Valentine’s Day. During this occasion, department stores display chocolates from all over the world, which may not be available at other times. It also has become a practice that women buy beautifully packed expensive chocolates as a “gift” for themselves.

Receiving chocolates on Valentine’s Day.

Colleague : Tim, choko takusan morattan da ne. Waito dei no okaeshi ga taihen da ne.
John : Waito dei tte, nani
Colleague : Barentain ni choko o moratta hitoga, okaeshi o suru hi dayo.
Chodo 1kagetsugo no 3gatsu 14nichi. (instead of 14nichi pls say juyokka)
John : ee! Sonna koto shiranakatta.
Colleague : Tsugi wa otoko no ban nan dayo.

When you want to ask for the name of certain items in Japanese, try to use the following pattern.
Example oneExample two
ItoManaita tte, rigo de nante iun desuka.
How do you say “Manaita” in English?
RamlySumimasen, ” roll of gauze” arimasuka.
Excuse me, do you have a roll of gauze?
RamlyManaita? Nan desuka, sore?ShopkeeperNan desuka, sore?
What’s that?
ItoDaidokoro de sakana ya niku o kiru tokini tsukau…
We use in the kitchen when we cut fish and meat …
RamlyAno!! Nihongo de nante iu ka wakaranain desukedo, kega o shiat toki tsukaumono nan desuga…
Well, I don’t know how to say in Japanese, it is something we use when we’re injured…
RamlyKitchen knife?
A kitchen knife?
Yes !!
ItoSou janakute, konna katachi de, konogurai no okisa de…
No, that’s not it, It’s shaped like thin and it’s about this big …
RamlyShirokute nagai nuno de, Konna fuu ni maku…
It’s a long white piece of cloth that we wrap around like this …
RamlyAa!! cutting board no koto desuka
Oh!! you mean a cutting board, don’t you?
ShopkeeperAa!! Houtai no koto desune.
Oh!! you mean “Houtai” don’t you
Katakana Shiken

Loanwords are foreign words adopted into the Japanese language. The spelling and the pronounciation may differ from the original but I think you just need a little time and patience and in no time you will be skillful in decoding Katakana. The following quiz will make it fun for the early learners to begin learning Katakana. Match the Katakana to their English equivalent. Use the blank column to decode.


Use the below provided chart to work on the answers.


Skirt, transformer, curry rice, restaurant, raincoat, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Smith, Muhamad, America