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Interview with the Secretary of West Sulawesi

We interviewed Mr. Muhammad Idris Pagunung, secretary of West Sulawesi, who stayed Japan for a week from Monday 12 June 2023 about the facilities and equipment of Kaikoukai Group, and the cultural differences between in Indonesia and in Japan.



What is your impression of Kaikoukai’s medical facilities and equipment after visiting them during this stay in Japan?


I am deeply grateful that I could go to see the facilities, infrastructure, and systems of Kaikoukai. In these two days, we are very proud and grateful including the discussions we had with the executives, and at the same time, I felt that West Sulawesi and Kaikoukai need each other. I am also very happy to be here, because I can observe such good facilities.



After coming to Japan, you have seen Japan and Nagoya using the various kind of transportation. What is your impression of Japan? We would like to know the differences between impressions which you had before and after coming to Japan.


This is the fifth time to come to Japan. The experience in Nagoya is same as my understanding that Japan is a country that gives a lot of importance to public services especially the transportation system. Subways and roads are well developed. I am very proud of this and believe that Japan can be a role model country that will improve Indonesia.



We think it is important for both Indonesians and Japanese to understand differences between culture and values, because Kaikoukai will continue to accept Indonesians as specified skilled worker at the facilities in Japan in the future. We would like you to let me know what Japanese should understand and be careful to respect Indonesian culture and values considering differences between culture and values in Japan (Japanese) and Indonesia (Indonesians).


Indonesians absolutely have to learn more about Japanese culture, and then I believe we can understand that. I never think this is difficult. I think understanding Japanese culture should be a duty to provide the best service.



We would like you to let us know what Japanese should understand and be careful to respect Indonesian culture and values.


First, regarding cultural differences related to religious beliefs, Muslims absolutely need a place to worship. I think it would be good if there was a place to worship around Kaikoukai. The second is about food. I think it is adjustable but it is important that there is a halal guarantee. Thirdly, I think we need to Japanese culture, especially work culture. Because work culture in Japanese is greatly different from in Indonesia. We will tell those who with to work as caregivers about the benefits that Indonesians can get from working in Japan and that work culture in Japan is much better than in Indonesia.

I think Indonesians can accept Japanese culture without hesitation, and Japanese know the needs of Indonesians and then I believe it is possible to understand each other.



What do you expect from Kaikoukai, and want to do by yourself in the future to deepen the future collaboration between West Sulawesi Province and Kaikoukai Group?


We want to extend MOU which expires in August in this year. If possible, I would like President Yamada to come to Mamuju City and sign the extension of the cooperation contract. I would like to do in concrete terms. For example, we will prepare training center for Kaikoukai in West Sulawesi. This training center will offer not only language education but also cultural education. So, I will immediately organize the special team to gather information and follow-up for the corporation with Kaikoukai after I return to West Sulawesi. I believe this MOU can have meaning for both parties. I appreciate once again the opportunity to visit Kaikoukai. I believe this visit leads us to a role model local government for international cooperation with Kaikoukai



We would like you to give some advice or messages to Indonesian staffs working at Kaikoukai Group and Indonesians going to work in Japan in the future.



Workers absolutely have to follow the principle “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. In other words, when you work in Japan, especially at Kaikoukai, you have to adapt to Japan life. The second is to continue to take advantage of the benefits of working in Japan. Especially in skills, work culture, spirit, etc. Because as you know, there is a lack of a big picture of work culture in Indonesia. Therefore, I want Indonesians working at Kaikoukai to learn more about the work process.

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