Interviewee: Mr. Jean Clavet Representative, Delegation Office of Quebec Government, Tokyo (Date: August 14, 2007; Place: Delegation Office, Tokyo; Interviewer/Writer: Takahiro Miyao)
Summary of Mr. Clavet’s Interview
About three years ago, I took up the assignment to come to Japan as the representative of the Delegation Office of Quebec Government in Tokyo with great interest in Japan as a leader in Asia, where China and other Asian countries were moving up rapidly in the region. From the viewpoint of Quebec with only 7 million people, Japan posed a challenge as to where Quebec could fit in. Now we have success in finding certain niche markets, which may be small for Japan, but really important for us to maintain our leadership in certain key technologies such as nanotechnology and photonics.
Having spent a few years in Japan now, I can really appreciate the way Japanese people do their business and organize their society. Things are working, clean, and well-organized, and people are polite, disciplined and hard-working. The end product cannot be wrong. Of course, no society is perfect, and Japan is good at achieving certain objectives, while maximizing quality, but may have difficulty in evaluating some uncertain results of basic research or invisible quality of professional services.
In that regard, one area where we should try harder for a closer relationship between Japan and Quebec is the research & innovation field, especially linking each other’s universities and research institutions. Traditionally, universities and research centers in Canada in general and in Quebec in particular have been closely working with their counterparts in Europe and the US, but not with Asia or Japan. Hopefully we will be able to encourage Quebec universities to look toward Japan, at least in certain specific research areas, where our limited resources can be strategically applied. Again, such fields as nanotechnology and photonics may hold a key in this possible connection.
In concluding my stay in Tokyo, I wish to say that I was blessed by the fact that we had many important political visits from Quebec, giving me opportunities of developing and maintaining a very good network of friends, colleagues and partners in Japan. This is very important, because our work at the Tokyo office can only be evaluated in establishing and utilizing our network in Japan for the sake of the Quebec people and business, and also those important events can help increase the visibility and presence of Quebec in Japan and Asia. I sincerely hope that this desirable trend will continue in order to promote a closer relationship between Quebec and Japan in many years to come. References: Delegation General: Jean Clavet (in French) http://www.mri.gouv.qc.ca/Tokyo/fr/delegation/qui_sommes_nous/delegue_general.asp (Interviewer: Takahiro Miyao) --------------------------------------------------------------- ジャン・クラヴェ氏とのインタビュー ケベック州政府在日事務所代表 （2007年8月14日：ケベック州政府在日事務所にて、聞き手：宮尾尊弘）