Introduction to Companies in Osaka
Interviews with foreign investors in Osaka 2018.12.17
President & CEO
QPlease introduce yourself.
Initially, I came to Japan in March 1989, during a study abroad boom that was happening in China. I was born in Fujian, and many other people came from Fujian. I came for a study abroad thanks to an introduction from my father's friend. First I studied at a Japanese language school, and after that I studied at a university. After graduation, I worked at a trading company. After working for several years, everyone finished their studies and began thinking about heading home, but I made it a mission to contribute to international trade by becoming a bridge between Japan and China. With this great flow of people heading home, personally I thought it might be good for my life too if I returned to China, where it would be easy to utilize the knowledge I had gained in Japan. Then, after returning home for a few years, I started a family and began thinking about coming back to Japan, so that I could leave behind the domestic environment and educational problems.
QWhy did you choose Osaka?
I spent all of my time studying abroad and working in Osaka, so I knew the city well and I loved it. This is not just a city where one can live, but where one can enjoy life. In times of worry, joy, or sadness, you can always turn to the city for a certain passion, and without backpedaling, you can continue moving forward. This is the image of Osaka that I've always had burned in my mind. So, when I returned to Japan this time, I definitely wanted to choose Osaka. My friends often said to me, "Why don't you work in Tokyo? Tokyo's the capital city and there are many business chances there." But isn't developing a business in Osaka good, too? Although, the number one reason I chose Osaka is because of my deep attachment to the city.
QWhy did you start this business?
At first I considered export and import trade, which was also my major. But when I came to work, I didn't know where I should apply myself, and I was at a loss. After that, encountering business opportunities, through introductions from friends, and by observing the society of Osaka, I was able to overcome various difficulties and eventually rent my current office. I would especially like to thank The Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry for providing me with such a quality property at that time. Renting an office by yourself is very challenging. The culture and institutions of China and Japan are very different, and one encounters various obstacles. At this point I thought that if I created an office for start-up companies to use, perhaps this would be a good business opportunity for me. In 2015, the year after I returned to Japan, I established an office like this.
QHow was the support from O-BIC?
When I came to Japan, I encountered various problems and I had nobody to depend on, and at first I consulted with O-BIC about business locations. The support from O-BIC was very kind, and because of that I was able to find this convenient location in Umeda. I learned only later that finding a property like this is usually very difficult, and that it is uncommon for places to rent to a company that has just come to Japan, much less one without a financial history. Thanks to the gracious support of O-BIC, I was able to rent an office smoothly. And then, after finishing the office's interior, I rented it out to start-up companies.
QHow would you evaluate the business development in Osaka thus far?
Thanks to heaven or my own good fortune, the company began to get on track after a year. The possible reasons for this are the office's good location and our honesty to customers. We take special care to treat those who take office tours with honesty. With a customers first philosophy of returning the greatest profits possible, we developed smoothly and in two years grew measurably in scope. There were many challenges during these four and a half years, but, with Zheng Banqiao (Zheng Xie)'s idea of "suffering a loss is a blessing" in mind, I came to think that even after a loss, you can gain experience. To make a living by going out and starting a business alone, you can get what you want by thinking and acting with other people in mind. In Buddhism, it is said that "to get something, you must throw something away", and this idea has supported me throughout these few years. In terms of business, I am ordinary, but I have been blessed with good fortune and friends. As for business opportunities, in any industry, I learned during these few years that the most important quality, in a single word, is "honesty". If the business continues to grow steadily like this, I believe we can broaden our scope and offer better service. In addition to providing office space to those who have just come to Japan to do business, I think we can offer unexpected and pleasing business opportunities. Companies like us that provide office space are like public platforms, and since users can use this platform to exchange information and business opportunities, their future chances may increase. This is also my management philosophy.
QHow is the living environment in Osaka and its educational environment for children?
One of the reasons I came back to Osaka was for my daughter's education. When business began to stabilize in the second year, I called for my wife and daughter to come join me. School was a problem for our daughter, because studying the Japanese language from scratch was necessary. At that time, I thought the fastest way for her to improve in Japanese would be going to a normal Japanese junior high school. However, as a result of observation and research, we began to think that she was at a rebellious phase and would be against it and give up if being suddenly thrown into a new environment without a transition period. Therefore, we decided to first put her into Osaka Chinese School, a school in Osaka opened by Taiwanese. Education is held in Chinese here, and there's a teacher from Taiwan. By doing this, she was able to have a transition period, and both Japanese and Chinese language skills were strengthened in two years of study. Thinking about it now, this was a success. She has graduated from junior high school and has been admitted to a fairly impressive high school. I would like to tell those who are thinking about coming to Japan in the future to respect their children's opinion as much as possible, especially about education, and that it would be good for them to give their children breathing room, especially when it comes to environment. Of course, the cost of sending our daughter to private school for the first two years was expensive, but they were able to continue studying with a sound body and mind. I have seen many examples of children who suddenly enter Japanese junior high school and have a hard time communicating because they can't speak the language at all. In situations like that, the children are liable to give up on their studies.
QPlease give a message to foreign companies considering coming to Osaka.
For those coming to Osaka for business in the future, in any industry it's important to first grasp the idea of "Luck, Geographical Advantage, and Harmony Among People". At the same time, by keeping close ties with local groups and organizations, you can reduce detours. Japanese society and Chinese society both have "honesty" in common. I believe that everyone undoubtedly has something to gain.
|President & CEO||Mr. Yao Lee (Fujian, China)|
|Business||Operation of offices for rent|