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Department Store Collaborates with International Students ahead of UN Conference in Sendai

From March 14 until March 18, the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction will be held in Sendai city, Japan. Guests from all over the world are expected to attend the five day conference, and local department store Fujisaki is offering internships to students from Tohoku University to help them provide customer service for non-Japanese speaking customers.

As the Tohoku region has struggled to bring tourists back into the area since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, the conference presents the opportunity for businesses to promote local goods and produce.

Recognizing the challenge of dealing with customers from a range of cultural backgrounds, Fujisaki department store has arranged an academic-industry collaboration with the Tohoku University Global Learning Center.

Students from Tohoku University and staff from Fujisaki Department Store exchanges ideas.

International students and Japanese students on the university's global leadership program will work at the store for the duration of the conference. On January 23, students met with staff at Fujisaki to exchange ideas on how to customize services for foreigners. They will undergo training on February 5 to learn how to sell tax free goods to customers, allowing them to save 8% on consumption tax.

Students will receive credits towards their university course for undertaking the internship, as well as having the experience of working in the Japanese workplace.

Commenting on the joint project, Associate Professor Kaori Taguchi from the Global Learning Center said, 'Students will have the opportunity to contribute to the local community. The experience will also teach them about Japanese work ethics. On the other hand, the staff at Fujisaki will engage in cross-cultural communication, so I think it is a mutually beneficial project.'

Contact:

Global Learning Center
Kaori Taguchi
Tel: +81-22-795-3729
Email: taguchim.tohoku.ac.jp

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