Saturday, March 11, 2006

HOT SPRINGS OF BEPPU

Heading to Beppu tomorrow to attend a seminar at Asia Pacific University (APU)...

Malaysians may be familiar with the one-village one-product movement...

The prime mover of this movement is Oita Prefecture, which encompasses Beppu city, a well-known hot springs territory...

Malaysia under Dr. Mahathir tried to learn this one-village one-product thingy from Oita...

But how successful are we... we never know...

Because as in most or all the projects in Malaysia, there never seems to be a follow-up on the progress...

There is no tail, so to say... 

APU is part of the highly regarded, privately run Ritsumeikan University of Kyoto...

APU's claim to fame is that, it is a 'bilingual' university with half of the staff and students coming from abroad...

I salute such universities, of which the graduate level International University of Japan (IUJ) in snow country Niigata is another one...

They are, no doubt, universities with fine ideas and noble aspirations...

The President of APU is a Sri Lankan gentleman whom I met long time ago at Nagoya..

He used to be with the United Nations...

Would be a delight to meet him again...

It will also be about 19 years since I last step foot on Beppu soil...

I came to Hiroshima in April 1987...

After studying for four months, I took a solo trip by ferry from Hiroshima to Beppu, armed only with broken Japanese and a backpack...

I look forward to 'boiling' myself in Beppu's renowned hot springs tomorrow...

Yeeeeee... we go alreadeaaa...