HPAIR ~Harvard Project for Asian International Relations~

What is HPAIR?~ The world’s biggest International student committee~

HPAIR is a student community consisted by students from Harvard University, established in 1992 and is one of the fellow partners of Bizjapan. Since its establishment, HPAIR has annually been holding International student committees in all different countries all around the world. In 2014, the committee, lasting for 5 days from August 22nd to 26th, was held in Tokyo.

This event gathered over 550 undergraduates and graduates and invited 120 well-known politicians, scientists, company presidents and entrepreneurs as guest speakers. Participants devoted themselves into thinking and discussing about global problems in three different sections; plenary, panel and seminar. In addition to these activities they learnt about Japanese techniques and cultures through field trips and other amusing events.

This committee assembling future global leaders, is in an intimate relationship with Bizjapan setting “global” and “entrepreneurship” as its main activity theme. Since the committee held in Tokyo was held under the support of Keio university, the HCOC(Host Country Organising Committee) was structured mainly by bilingual students of Keio university. The committee was both prepared and organised with the cooperation of the members of both HCOC and HOC(HPIR Organising Committee).

Up until now, Bizjapan has sent out 7 of its fellows as core organizing members of HPAIR and also one participant.

[Day0 meet up]

On the 21st of August, there were some participants who arrived in Japan in advance of the actual event. They were the passionate students called HPAIR ambassadors, indulged in advertising the event. During the meet up, followed up by the introductory presentation of Bizjapan, a fulfilling discussion about Japanese pop culture was held. The ambassadors presented numerous serious and poignant remarks. Encountering such qualified fellows, the members of Bizjapan spent a strongly stimulating day.

[Day1 The Opening Ceremony]

On the first day, with participants creating a heated atmosphere, the Opening Ceremony unfolded in Palace Hotel Tokyo. Two speeches, one by the vice-president of Australia, Kevin Rad, and another by the vice-ambassador to the United States, Fujisaki Ichiro, were made about what is required from Asia and future global leaders. From the very first day, participants gathered around the two speakers, sharing their opinions and interacting with each other.

[Day2 Committee]

On the second day, at Tokyo International Forum, the core content, the divisive discussions; plenary, panel and seminar, were held. In the plenary, discussions focusing on the advance of Asian companies were made. In both the panel and seminar, committees on various themes such as public policies, medical treatment, diplomacy, Finance, Economy, Technology and Entrepreneurship were held. Participants joined ones that they were especially interested in.

[Day3 International Night]

On the third day, using the Hiyoshi campus of Keio university, another panel and seminar was held. However, this days main event was the “ International night” held after dinner. In each classroom, booths demonstrating the food cultures of various countries were set up. Participants dressed in their own country’s traditional costumes, enjoyed themselves encountering the unique food cultures while also passionately presenting their own food culture. In addition, on stage, performers from numerous countries amused the participants with their dances and songs. Of course, the Japanese Wadaiko, Sou and Nihon buyo created a whirlpool of enthusiasm.

[Day4 Field trip]

On the fourth day, participants were taken around to visit Japanese Offices. They visited places like the department of Health, Labour and Welfare, the main office of Rakuten, and Japan Aerospace exploration Agency. At each office, they listened to the lectures made by politicians and office workers. In some places, they were granted the opportunity to experience developing systems. It seemed that through this field trip the participants were able to strengthen their relationships with each other.

[Day 5 The Closing Ceremony]

On the fifth day, after going through another round of theme based committees, the closing ceremony was held in Palace Hotel Tokyo. The company president of Rakuten, Mr. Hiroshi Mikitani, the cabinet minister of the department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr. Hayashi Housei, and honour professor of Harvard University, Mr. Ezra Feigel Vogel all made speeches in the ceremony and participants looked back at the short but rich in content 5 days.

[To end ~The embodiment of Global and Entrepreneurship~]

We wonder what we learnt, what influence we received from the Tokyo held HPAIR committee.
For one thing, Bizjapan was able to convey the charm of Japan to the foreign students. We showed, in “International night” the tradition, in the field trip, the technology of Japan to Asian students. In 2020, it has been decided that the Olympic games will be held in Tokyo, but we believe that we have been able to demonstrate the presence of Japan, Tokyo.

And for another, contributing to organizing this committee, it is mention worthy that the members of Bizjapan have been able to reach a further advanced level. Members that actually played the role as organizers went through the experience of contributing with one another, the utmost important process of carrying out a project. Members who participated in the committee were able to learn a lot from guest speakers and exchange diverse ideas with those with different perspectives and values. The know-hows gained through HPAIR have been and is playing a significant role in the development of Bizjapan..
It is no exaggeration to say that this event was something that embodied “global” and “entrepreneurship” the two main activity themes of Bizjapan.