If there is one country I admire the most; a country that I think the world of; that country would be Japan.
When I graduated with an engineering degree in 1985, I first worked with Korean engineers. My boss was Korean. Most of the equipment were made in Korea; there were only a couple of items that were made in Japan.
But it was the Japanese who stole my heart with their brilliance, engineering ingenuity and sheer dedication. And it is a lifetime admiration. I got to know about them and their traits first hand when I was sent to Japan under the Japan Cooperation Centre for Petroleum (JCCP) in 1988, and in the early 90s I nearly made Japan my second home by going there every few months for nearly two years.
|Me as a young engineer in Chiba on Sept 28, 1988. I was the youngest|
engineer in the group 9 engineers from Africa and Asia being
trained in Japan by JCCP.
Tokyo, Yokohama, Chiba, Kobe, Kyoto and the southern city of Tokuyama were some of the cities I spent time in while I was in Japan.
My admiration grew every time I was there.
|The Chiba refinery in the background in 1988. Chiba|
will rise again, insyaAllah.
In this difficult time for Japan and her people, I would like to reminisce on my time in Japan and the sweet memories I have of friends and colleagues from the Japanese archipelago, and I would like to wish them all the best for their future in face of the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
I know in the end, they will be ok. In fact they will rise from the ashes of this tragedy.
They have risen before from the ashes, literally.
They are after all the Japanese.