Japanese exchange employees learning about the ways of Finland

Net 2/2015,  2015-12-22

At the beginning of September, two Japanese employees were brought to Finland by Fujitsu Global Exchange Program. Masatsugu, also known as Masa for Finns, is a legal counsel who studied law in Nagoya and has been working for Fujitsu since 2007. Noriharu, or Nori, is an electronic engineer who joined Fujitsu in 2010.

Masa and Nori got to know each other at a pre-exchange orientation period where they studied English and intercultural interaction. Now the two men live in the same house in the heart of Helsinki and work at the head office of Fujitsu Finland at Pitäjänmäki.

Japanese exchange employees learning the ways of Finland

Masatsugu Murase (left) and Noriharu Okada from Tokyo participate in Fujitsu global exchange program.

Nori spent his early autumn months working on Fujitsu GYUHO Connected Cow cloud service. It is an application designed for livestock farming, which utilizes pedometers attached to cows, and the data gathered from them. Now he will be focusing on the development of Fujitsu Head Mounted Display and its possible new applications.

Due to language reasons alone, Masa mostly works in joint projects between Finland and Japan, where his international legal expertise is put to good use.

Finns love weekends

When off work, Masa and Nori have done some sightseeing around Helsinki, visiting Suomenlinna, for example, and Nori has even managed to bathe in the sauna. They have also visited Tallinn – but not for the liquor shopping reasons they heard many of their fellow passengers did.

Nori says he likes it in Finland and that he is interested in international job opportunities outside Japan even after this stint in Finland. His colleague Masa believes that by the time he finishes his exchange period in Finland he will have a pretty good understanding of the Nordic way to do business and the legal matters that go with it. He has a wife and a seven-month-old daughter waiting for him in Tokyo.

When asked about Finnish culture Masa mentions having noticed that the Finns love their weekends. On Fridays they like to ask about your plans for the weekend, and on Mondays they are interested in knowing “how your weekend went”. Nori too has noticed a cultural difference: the Finns separate work from personal life more clearly than the Japanese. In Japan, people more often spend time with their colleagues outside the office.

The two visitors have not found the unseasonably warm autumn weather too cold for them, but instead, the scarcity of light took them by surprise. Nori reckons sun would be necessary now to revitalize the mind and the body.

Text: Jarno Salovuori
Photo: Tom Nuorivaara

Translation: Päivi Vuoriaro

More Information

Published in the Net Magazine 2/2015,  2015-12-22

Facebook  Twitter  Google  LinkedIn