横沢 稔明 (Toshiaki Yokozawa) — 1992 Bachelor of Arts

President of Asahi-Ecocarry Inc. (His LinkedIn profile and Tokyo American Club interview)

Toshiaki in 1990

Which campus did you attend?

Shimo-ochiai campus (Shinjuku)

What was the most memorable thing(s) about TUJ from when you were a student?

I was at TUJ from April 1988 to August 1990, during which time I experienced a lot of things. Among them, one of the most memorable things, is the commencement held at Nihon-Seinenkan in May, 1990. My picture on this page was photographed for the 1990 yearbook, the commencement was held right after it was taken. Although I was not a graduating student (I was an enrolled student), I was allowed to attend the commencement and the reception. It was the first time I had attended such an event. It was very impressive, so I sworn that I would definitely attend my own commencement in the future. Two years later, I received a diploma at the commencement held at Anderson Hall, Temple University in Philadelphia.

How has the education you received at TUJ been helping you in your career or your life in general?

TUJ focuses on writing. As soon as I was allowed to enter the undergraduate program, I had to take a writing examination. My writing was not good enough, so I was forced to take ELECT. I took ELECT twice, because my first teacher was so strict that I could not finish it. In the next semester, I took it again and fortunately, I was able to write two excellent essays. I got two passes from two teachers and finished before the semester was over. Then, I took Composition 50 in summer 1989. To concentrate on writing, I took only this subject in that summer. When I got 60 academic credits, I took the "sophomore writing proficiency test" to be able to take upper level subjects. Fortunately, I passed the test, so I did not need to take Composition 45. At TUJ, my writing ability dramatically improved. Nowadays, I sometimes need to write essays and articles, so what I studied at TUJ helps me a lot!

Looking at TUJ now, what do you think has changed or stayed the same at TUJ since your student days?

As a matter of fact, I do not know the current TUJ very well. It seems that TUJ improved a lot when Dr. Kirk Patterson became the dean. TUJ Alumni Reunion started when Dr. Patterson became the dean. I visited TUJ in Minami-Azabu for the first time in 2006. One thing I can say regarding the current TUJ is facilities in Minami Azabu is much better than those in Shimo Ochiai. So the current TUJ students are fortunate to study in a much better environment.

In my time, five or six American universities opened campuses in Japan. Going to such universities was sort of a boom among students who did not want to study harder for the entrance examination of Japanese university. I think that nowadays, students tend to choose TUJ because they want to study in the international environment. Since Japanese companies tend to go abroad to seek further economic success, I think going to TUJ gives more job opportunities to students. Overall, I believe that what has never changed at TUJ is that students always need to study hard to achieve what they want.

How do you see the future of TUJ?

The population of Japanese is decreasing. More foreigners from Asian countries come to Japan seeking opportunities and to get a better job, students have to compete with foreigners. Even elementary school students must study English in Japan. Japanese companies such as Uniqlo and Rakuten announced that their official language at work is English. Communicating in English will become natural in Japan in the near future, therefore, the role of TUJ will be more important. TUJ should be the center of education where students study unique programs which Japanese university cannot provide. I am looking forward to TUJ's further development.

(Posted in January 2012)

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