Fruitful one-week working visit to Japan

Meeting of minds: Ahmad Zahid (centre) at a halal round-table session in Osaka. With him are Asyraf Wajdi (right) and others. — Bernama

OSAKA: Malaysia has garnered valuable input from Japan, especially in the areas of disaster management, the halal sector and technical and vocational education and training (TVET), says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Deputy Prime Minister said that much was gained from his seven-day working visit to Japan, citing this was particularly so in the field of TVET.

He said that Japan also appreciated his visit, which was a follow-up to the one by the Prime Minister last December.

“More importantly, Japan has given its commitment to boost their diplomatic ties with Malaysia, under the comprehensive strategic partnership,” he told Malaysian media at the end of his visit to Tokyo and Osaka yesterday.

During his visit to Japan last year, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that Malaysia and Japan’s ties have been elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

On TVET, Ahmad Zahid pointed out that Japan has had TVET-integrated education institutions for the past 35 years and has successfully nurtured students who excelled in the sector.

“We can see why Japan is so developed, they have TVET-integrated Kosen (colleges of technology) institutions and turn them into professional institutions.

“It goes to say that in Japan, TVET is not the second choice but the main choice,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid, who was accompanied by Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) chairman Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, had earlier visited the National Technology Institute, Tokyo College (Tokyo Kosen) to study the Kosen model.

The Kosen model emphasises a comprehensive TVET learning concept by providing a five-year learning programme to students as young as 15 who are keen on the field.

Ahmad Zahid said the government intends to send more Malaysian students to Japan to further their studies in the TVET field to empower the local TVET sector.

“We have received offers for our students to further their studies in Japan, especially those from Universiti Kuala Lumpur and the Malaysian Technical Universities Network (MTUN),” he said.

MTUN is a network of four technical-based universities – Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia and Universiti Malaysia Pahang.

While in Osaka, Ahmad Zahid witnessed the signing of two memoranda of understanding between Halal Development Corporation Bhd and two Japanese entities in the halal sector, aimed at boosting bilateral trade in the halal industry.

He and National Disaster Management Agency director-general Datuk Khairul Shahril Idrus were also briefed on disaster management during their visit to Osaka.

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