Overseas Business Expansion

Pick Up

Crafted and implemented materials for presentations targeting foreigners and foreign monitor questionnaire surveys.
Narrowed expansion target to Vietnam and plan to start market surveys there next spring

Higuchi Knitting Company Inc.Higuchi Knitting Company Inc.

Host companiesHiguchi Knitting Company Inc.

Osaka/Manufacturing industry/Manufacturing and sales of original knitted items

InternsNgo Duc Dieu Lien

VietNam/Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Japanese


We tried selling socks as "gift items" abroad but failed. We took in a foreign intern as part of a breakthrough strategy.

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
We manufacture and sell knitted goods like socks, and have been thinking about expanding internationally. The Japan socks market is in a diminishing trend, but in interacting with foreigners, we have come to feel that there is a need for these products as "gift items" in foreign countries. However, we did now know just how to launch our products into that market. We tried various things such as creating an online shopping website and creating an English website, but because nothing seemed to be working we stopped pursuing that goal for a time. Against that backdrop, we learned about this internship program and decided to apply out of a desire to try our hand once more at international business.


Details of the Internship

Our intern was amazingly active, taking on everything from foreign monitor presentation to new product development!

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
At the beginning of the internship, we went together to a training session for "knitted item manufacturing machinery," a subject which I had already been studying. Although she did not have this kind of experience at all, she mastered in one week techniques that had taken me a full month to learn. She even rose to the level of being able to teach other Japanese employees how to use the machinery. I was very surprised. After that, her ability to take on new challenges continued to be amazing, and she went as far as to develop a new product based on the skills she learned. Her product is gift socks for babies that people can keep forever as dolls once the baby's feet outgrow them. The design was cute and we were thrilled that she was able to turn her ideas into an actual physical product. She also conducted presentations and questionnaire/analysis at product explanation sessions for foreign monitors. Her explanations were very easy to understand and she was a major hit with foreign monitors.

Details of the Internship


She gave us foreign presentation knowhow and a business network in Vietnam.

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
One of the results of this internship was that we were able to organize information on how to explain products so that the explanations are both easy for foreigners to understand and surprising. I want to show video footage of her presentations to our other employees to help train them. The second result was that seeing the intern study hard in a foreign culture and foreign language environment and seeing her sincerity and flexibility was a very positive impetus for our staff. Motivation increased regarding learning new things and the sentiment of, "I might be able to try new things, too," and she inspired courage in everyone. The third result relates to how we had not decided on just what area to expand our distribution route even though we knew we were interested in international business. By having an intern come to us from Vietnam, we developed linkages to her acquaintances there that we met through her and decided to make Vietnam our first international business hub. We plan to go to Vietnam next spring and start the market surveying process.


From the Interns

Experiencing "working at a Japanese company & living in a Japanese household" in my first Japan trip was a wonderful treasure.

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
This internship was very hard when it first started. It was my first industry experience, made all the more difficult because it was in Japanese, an unfamiliar language. It seemed like I couldn't understand anything, and there were so many things to study everyday. And winter in Japan is very cold. I knew this going in, but I was shocked by the change in environment. But the company president was a very wonderful individual. She taught me many things, including how to run a Japanese company and Japanese culture. I am so glad I got the chance to participate in this internship program, to work as an intern at this company, and to have a homestay experience at the president's home. I am very grateful. After I go back to Vietnam, I want to become a Japanese language teacher. But I want to do more than just teaching the language. I also want to become the kind of teacher who can also teach thoroughly about Japanese culture and working at Japanese companies.

From the Interns


Technological Planner Inc.

Host companiesTechnological Planner Inc.

Oita/Engineering Service

InternsPongsuban Jitvisuttipanang

Thailand/ Thammasat University,Economics

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Link Solution Co.,Ltd.

Host companiesLink Solution Co.,Ltd.

Tokyo/Management Consulting

InternsNguyen Hai Ly

Vietnam/Quantitative Finance, Graduate School of Economics, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo

InternsNguyen Phuoc Bao Ngoc

Vietnam/Foreign Trade University/International Economics and Business

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OS Co., Ltd.

Host companiesOS Co., Ltd.

Tokyo/IT Services

InternsCen Chen

China/ Shanghai Normal University Tianhua College, Japanses

InternsWu Tana

China/ Tokyo Metropolitan University, Department of Behavioral Social Sciences

InternsWang Wei

China/Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, Business Japanese

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