Applying Knowledge and Experience from
IATSS Forum & Paying Forward to Community

Participant's Voices


  • Country : Malaysia
  • Forum : 58th batch (2017 Autumn forum)
Assalamualaikum and greetings to all. Apa khabar? My name is Yus and I am an academic at the Institut Sains Biologi (Institute of Biological Sciences), Faculty of Science, Universiti Malaya. I am truly delighted to be selected as one of IATSS Forum participants for 2017 and I would like to thank IATSS Forum Suzuka Japan as well as IATSS Forum Malaysia Secretariat for this opportunity to represent my country as a member of the 58th delegation. As a Malaysian being selected to spend almost two months in Japan beginning this September, it is indeed a very special opportunity. This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Japan, which for the last six decades have been progressively strengthened at different levels. The fruits of these strong bilateral relations are evident from numerous successes and collaborations between the two countries. When I applied to join the IATSS Forum, I was attracted to the wide spectrum of programmes and activities covering numerous topics principally those involving Japanese public institutions, cultural excursions and visiting innovative projects. I am also scheduled to spend a weekend with a Japanese foster family, an experience that I believe would be a memorable one. Furthermore, IATSS Forum will also assemble other young changemakers from across ASEAN and as we move forward towards closer regional integration and common aspirations, I am looking forward to meet and collaborate with my fellow IATSS participants from diverse backgrounds on possibly ASEAN-wide initiatives. I am particularly interested in the potential applications of science and innovation as diplomacy tools and advocating socio-economic mobility based on innovation. I trust that IATSS Forum is an excellent networking and learning platform, especially the opportunity to understand the world from Japanese perspectives. I cannot wait to share my experiences about IATSS upon completing the programme in November. See you again soon!
Assalamualaikum and konnichi wa! Finally, my two-month of Iwakura-esque sojourn in Japan as a participant of the IATSS Forum is successfully completed with voluminous amount of information and memorable experiences. I enjoyed this leadership programme very much as it helped broaden my horizon. One important aspect to remember about the IATSS Programme is that the contents were curated to accommodate diverse interests, professional and cultural background of the prospective participants whilst honouring the programme’s vision as envisaged by Mr. Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa since its inception more than three decades ago. Although there were progressive improvements to the programme throughout the years, participants must always bear in mind that they are ultimately responsible in charting their own journey within the boundaries of the programme as their effort and commitment will determine their successes in achieving their personal objectives. Future participants must always utilise every activity slot effectively, especially the lecture sessions which were delivered by Japanese experts in the field. I found that all the lecture topics to be intellectually stimulating and one should always utilise these sessions to gain solid primers on the topics, which can be effectively applied during subsequent site visits, study tours and other activities. Participants must also recognise that these activities are interlinked with each other and that they should be able to draw their own conclusions on the topics discussed. Friendly staff at the IATSS Forum are always more than helpful to guide as well as provide the necessary assistance whenever needed and in my case, my participation in the programme would have been meaningless without them. I had learned a lot during my two-month stay in Japan and felt invigorated to positively contribute to the society, locally and beyond. I would highly recommend this programme to anyone who has profound interest to learn about Japan, her history, society and culture, her achievements and her vision for the future together with the rest of the world. The best part was that I successfully achieved my objectives and completed the programme together with my fellow Batch 58 participants from across ASEAN, with whom I will always remain in touch. Arigato gozaimashita!! Best wishes, Yus.