At the end of 2004 it was time for me to pull all of my interests together. The difficulty of course was finding the right mix. I wanted to find something that would benefit from my interest in Japan, my background and experience derived from both my Bachelor of Arts: Asian studies, and Masters of Arts: International Relations, and follow on with my continuing connection to and interest in international relations. My first thought was working for the government, and as it turned out, that is what happened. The only difference was that I would be working for the Japanese Government.
The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) plays a similar role to that of AUSTRADE. JETRO is a facilitator of trade, primarily Foreign Direct Investment into Japan in the form of opening new offices or distribution networks, however we also play a supporting role to our member companies. Most would be unaware that while JETRO receives over 90% of its funding directly from the Japanese Government, the remained comes from “Member Companies”. For these companies JETRO provides a supporting research function, which in my role as a Research Officer for Australia and the South Pacific Economies, in the simplest terms, I provide answers for there questions. These questions range from legislation, policy change, tariffs, market surveys, product inquiries, and pretty much anything else that you can imagine.
It is this broad base that provides the most stimulus in my position. Given the opportunity to constantly stay informed by digesting multiple newspapers and website a day, my knowledge is constantly stretched.