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In promoting “making Washoku barrier free”, we have created a network of people from whom we can receive reliable information

Hagihara Farm Production Institute Co., Ltd.HINOMOTO SHOKUSAN Co., Ltd.


Hyogo/Food Manufacturing

インターンインターンElamin Niematallah

Sudan/Osaka University (Doctoral course)/Economics

インターンインターンAriq Suryo Wicaksono

Indonesia/Graduated from University of Muhammadiyah Malang/Food Science and Technology


Expanding the domestic market for Halal Japanese side dishes, with a view toward overseas development.
We want objective, neutral opinions from Muslim persons.

Q.Why did your company decide to take on interns? What did you aim to achieve?
"Washoku" (literally, “Japanese food”) has been registered as a World Intangible Cultural Heritage, and has come to be well known around the world. However as of now, there are still few Washoku that Muslims can eat safely. Our company is engaged in the manufacture and sales of Japanese side dishes at our plant which has received certification from the Japan Halal Association. Our goal is “making Washoku barrier free”, in other words making Washoku that not only Japanese people but also Muslims and the other people can eat safely.
We applied to this program as we are searching for a way to expand the domestic market in Japan, and we want to proceed with preparations to enter overseas markets. Also, we wanted to hear the objective opinions of Muslim persons regarding our business. Due to conflicts on interest in business relationships, it is difficult to get objective opinions easily. Also for laymen without any knowledge, it is difficult to get useful opinions. This program which recommends interns after rigorous review is perfectly in line with our objectives, so we applied.



Implement activities taking advantage of the strengths of participant from overseas and domestic international student

Q.What kind of internship did you run? What difficulties did you face and how did you resolve them?
This time we accepted one overseas working person, and one international student studying in here Japan. It was good that we were able to effectively divide their activities taking advantage of each of their respective knowledge and experience. By pure coincidence the overseas working intern held the inspection qualification for certifying Indonesia’s Halal. He was able to extract a large volume of materials regarding certification for use in our company, and gave careful lectures to us on required items. For the international student enrolled in Osaka University, she became the point person for conducting tasting parties for our company’s products, summarizing the results in a report.
Also, since there is still only a Japanese version of our website, we asked both interns to draft contents and design for an English language website. We also had them work on Arabic and Indonesian versions of our product introduction catalog. We plan to use these as promotional materials for the 2020 Olympics. Occasionally we had them join in business negotiations, and we received high praise from customers for accepting foreign interns, leading to PR for the company.



The 2 interns gave us valuable opinions and information regarding future business development from different perspectives

Q.Comparing before and after the internship, what effects did it have on you, your employees, or your organization?
Based on his specialized knowledge regarding Halal certification, the overseas working intern made concrete proposals regarding business development for the company going forward. Also, from the report summarizing the results of tasting parties conducted at Osaka University, we were able to get useful information for future business development and new product planning. Also, it was extremely valuable for the company to be able to hear from the international student her impressions and experiences from living in Japan for three and a half years. Although both interns are Muslims, nationality, gender, experience in Japan, university major, character and values etc. were different. As a result, it was quite a catch for our company being able to get opinions and proposals from 2 different perspectives. Moreover, both complimented each other, giving extremely good balance to the internships.
Also, it is quite a large success that through this program we were able to develop a network of people from whom we can receive reliable information. Going forward, we hope to make them consultants and point people in their respective regions, continuing the relationships for a long time.



We experienced the real Japan, which you can’t experience as an international student or in travel

Q.What did you get out of the internship?
I was able to get practical, hands on business experience that can’t be experienced through life as an international student. During the internship, I was able to be involved in various levels of work, ranging from the packaging of products, research and analysis for new product planning and business development, to discussing the business plan with the president. Also, this was the first time for me in translation and conducting and analyzing questionnaire surveys, but as a new skill set mastered through this internship, I hope to use it again in the future. (Elamin Niematallah)
Through this internship, I was able to learn the important thoughts and manners that Japanese companies use in business. Also, people in the company took good care of us, making me feel like a member of the company and a member of the family. I was also able to have exchange with people from the local community, stepping into local society and experiencing real living in Japan. I believe these things can’t be experienced through travel. It was precisely because I participated in this program that I was able to experience the real Japan. (Ariq Suryo Wikaksono)



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