Japan 2023 Trip Highlights – By Annabel Melhuish, Winner of NLJP Essay Contest 2022

Last year, Annabel Melhuish won the 1st place at the NL Japan Relations Essay Contest 2022 organized with VU University. Her prize was a trip to Japan together with the Dujat delegation this year. In this article she writes how she experienced this trip.

I had the privilege of joining the DUJAT delegation on their 2023 trip to Japan. We visited businesses in Osaka, Nara and Tokyo across diverse industries from earthquake resilient housing to materials innovation. I also had the unique opportunity to attend seminars on the tax regulatory landscape and agricultural developments between the two trade partners. As a student completing my Masters of Environment and Resource Management at the VU University, I was particularly interested in how companies are pivoting towards a low-carbon economy. For example, our visit to the Yokogawa Innovation Center demonstrated that investments in emerging technologies can tackle sustainability issues whilst fostering business opportunities across the value chain. I would like to extend my gratitude to all the businesses and representatives that so warmly welcomed our delegation in Japan, your generosity and enthusiasm made it a very memorable trip.

As well as our business tours, the DUJAT trip gave us an insight into Japanese culture. I particularly enjoyed our visit to Ise Shrine, which is a Shinto shrine dedicated to the sun goddess. The delegation shared a bento lunch and walked around the lush, tranquil forest. The deer in Nara park also provided the delegation with lots of joy and entertainment. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to travel to Japan, this trip has shown me the importance of fostering collaboration, trust, and mutual understanding between trade partners.

ー Annabel Melhuish, Masters of Environment and Resource Management – Sustainable Energy at VU University