VIP Interview with H.E. Hidehisa Horinouchi, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of the Netherlands

VIP Interview with His Excellency Hidehisa Horinouchi,  Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of the Netherlands on April 4, 2022.

在オランダ日本国大使 堀之内 秀久氏 インタビュー

202244日)

What is it like to be an ambassador?

Being an ambassador requires years of holding various positions, such as a foreign service for a period of more than 40 years. This is my second ambassadorship, as my first was in Cambodia and now in the Netherlands for two and a half years. The role of an ambassador is to meet the people and the politicians, to visit cities and towns and to look after the Japanese community in the Netherlands. The Netherlands and Japan have a strong, fascinating relationship, and it is lovely to be here.

大使になるというのは、どのようなことなのでしょうか?

大使になるには、40年以上にわたって外務省に勤務するなど、さまざまな役職を長年にわたって経験する必要があります。私にとって初めての大使職はカンボジアで、2回目はこのオランダとなり、現在2年半務めています。大使の役割は、人々に会うことや、政治家に会うこと、また各地を訪れ、オランダの日本人コミュニティに気を配ることです。オランダと日本には力強く素晴らしい結びつきがあり、ここにいることを嬉しく感じています。

What are your specific experiences representing Japan globally and in the Netherlands in particular?

My major foreign assignments in the last 40 years have been about China and the United States, as Europe is very rare among my assignments. My wife, on the other hand, is from the Netherlands, and although we have been married for more than 36 years, we had not had the opportunity to come here. Finally, we arrived in the Netherlands, and as a result, I became the Japanese Ambassador to the Netherlands. It is the Japanese government’s arrangement. This enabled me to learn and comprehend how to strengthen relations between Japan and the Netherlands.

国際的に、特にオランダで日本を代表する大使として具体的にどのようなご経験をされましたか?

過去40年間にわたる私の主な分野は中国と米国だったので、欧州は非常に稀なケースでした。一方、私の妻はオランダ出身で、結婚して36年以上たちますが、なかなかこちらに来る機会はありませんでした。私たちはようやくオランダにたどり着き、結果として、私は駐オランダ日本大使になりました。日本政府の計らいです。このおかげで、日本とオランダの関係を強化する方法を学び、より深く理解することができました。

How are you handling cultural gaps? Can you share some lessons learned with our audience (readers)?

When it comes to understanding cultural differences, we must remember that we are not only dealing with diverse cultures in foreign countries but also with diverse cultures within our own countries. Diverse cultures can be found all over the world, such as how Japan’s culture differs from China’s culture and how Japan’s culture differs completely from the cultures of the United States and Cambodia. As we speak, different cultures are also experienced within Japan. For example, Japan’s western and eastern sides have different dialects and eating styles. Learning to speak and listen to people is essential in diplomacy.

文化的差異にはどのように対処されていますか?大使が教訓を得られたことを、読者のためにお話しいただけますか?

文化の違いを理解するようになるとき、私たちは海外の多様な文化だけではなく、自国のさまざまな文化について扱うのだということを忘れてはなりません。日本の文化と中国の文化、日本の文化とアメリカやカンボジアの文化は全く異なります。日本国内でも西部と東部では方言や食文化など、異なる文化が存在していますのでよく話すことと相手の話しをよく聞くことがポイントだと思います。

As an ambassador travelling around the world, is it easy to adapt to a country?

In my life as an ambassador, when posted to different countries for a three-year term, in the first year I make efforts to fit in; in the second year, I make many plans, and in the third year, I am more relaxed but by then it is already the time  to leave the country for another mission. It is the diplomatic life.

世界を飛び回る大使として、一つの国に馴染むのは易しいことなのでしょうか?

私の大使としての生活では、3年間の任期で各国に赴任する場合、1年目はその国に溶け込む努力をします。2年目にはいろいろな計画を立てます。そして、3年目には心にゆとりをもてますが、その頃には別の任務に就くためにその国を離れる時期になります。これが外交官の生活です。

Do you have examples of complex situations, and how have you handled them from the perspective of soft diplomacy?

Today I brought this picture from my office of a postcard that I bought from NASA when I was stationed in the United States in the late 1990s. This was when I took my family to Texas, travelled through Dallas, San Antonio, and then to Houston where I bought it. It is known as the earthrise. It was taken from the moon by the Apollo spacecraft. The sunrise, sunset, and moonrise are all well-known phenomena on Earth, but how they appear from the moon is quite different. You can see the earthrise from the moon. The physics are the same, but your perspective is entirely different. As a result, I always keep this picture in my office, because what we see in Japan can be very different from what you see in your home country. It does not happen often in the Netherlands, but I always keep in mind that what matters to you or your own country might not matter to another country. To remind me of this, I keep this image in my office. The philosophy in this postcard is open to many interpretations.

複雑な状況下で、ソフト外交の観点からどのように対処したかという事例があれば教えていただけますか?

今日、オフィスから持ってきた写真は、1990年代後半にアメリカに駐在していたときに、NASAから買ったポストカードです。家族を連れてテキサスに行き、ダラス、サンアントニオを経て、ヒューストンに行き、そこで購入しました。「地球の出」と呼ばれている、アポロ宇宙船が月から撮影した写真です。日の出、日の入り、月の出は、地球上ではよく知られた現象ですが、月からの見え方はまったく異なります。月からは、地球が昇ってくるのが見えるのです。物理的には同じでも、視点が違います。私たちが日本で見るものとあなたがたの母国であなたが見るものは大きく異なることがあるので、私はこの写真をいつもオフィスに置いています。オランダではあまりないことですが、自分や自分の国にとって重要なことが、他の国では重要でないということを私は常に念頭に置いています。それを思い出すために、この画像をオフィスに飾っているのです。このポストカードの画像に込められた哲学は、さまざまな解釈が可能です。

Do you have some advice for upcoming diplomats?

Thank you very much for your question. When I talk with young Japanese diplomats and diplomats all over the world I would say that today’s world is so divided. They must comprehend all aspects of the world without taking sides in debates. The news is also divided; it is the world of social networking services, which are always close to their own group of people, who are also always close to their favourite news. It is extremely rare to contact the opposing side of a story or argument. Young people must be exposed to as many different perspectives as possible from around the world to be able to listen to them.

Protocol and intercultural communication are skills for aspiring diplomats to learn. If you want to work in foreign affairs or the foreign service, you must understand the protocol. Logistics knowledge and skills are also valuable additions to modern diplomacy skills.

これから外交官を目指す人たちへ向けて、アドバイスをいただけますか?

ご質問をありがとうございます。若い日本の外交官や世界の外交官と話す際、今日の世界では大きな分断があることを話します。彼らは世界のあらゆる側面を理解し、議論に加わらなければなりません。ニュースも分断されています。ソーシャル・ネットワーキング・サービスの世界であり、自分の好きなニュースと常に密接な関係にある人たちのグループなのです。そこでは、議論の逆の立場にあるものと接触することは極めて稀です。若い人たちは、世界中のできるだけ多くの異なる視点に触れて、耳を傾けられるようにならなければなりません。

プロトコールや異文化間のコミュニケーションは、外交官を志す人が身につけるべきスキルです。外交や外務に携わりたいのであれば、プロトコールを理解する必要があります。また、ロジスティクスの知識やスキルも、現代の外交官としての求められる貴重な要素です。

Thank you very much for your time and kindness to share your experience with the world.

お忙しいところ、ご親切にもご体験をお話しくださり、誠にありがとうございました。

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Exclusive interview by VIP Special Edition Magazine Global Mindset the Netherlands 

Interviewed by Mrs Adriana Flores, Publisher, Editor and Expert in Protocol & Soft Diplomacy

Co-editor, Wilfredo Peréz

Rewrite by Mr Eric Muhia, International Studies and Diplomacy Graduate Student

Translate to Japanese by Ms Mako Yasuda

Translate to Spanish by Mrs Adriana Flores and Wilfredo Pérez 

Photography and video by Mick de Jong

Translation, Aura Barajas

Rights reserved by ProtocolToday 

 

オランダのVIP特別編集誌「グローバル・マインドセット」による独占インタビュー

聞き手:アドリアナ・フローレス(ProtocolToday代表取締役、ソフト・プロトコール外交専門家)

リライト:エリック・ムヒア(国際学・外交学大学院生)

日本語翻訳:安田真子

スペイン語翻訳:アドリアナ・フローレス、ウィルフレド・ペレス

写真・動画:ミック・デ・ヨング

著作権:ProtocolTodayに帰属

Our thanks to the Embassy of Japan in the Kingdom of the Netherlands

DEVELOP YOUR PROTOCOL & SOFT DIPLOMACY SKILLS

ProtocolToday is a capacity development company specialises in connecting values, culture throw soft power en protocol based on understanding of the use of soft and hard power in de public and private sectors around the world taking care of the imago to work in a natural way. ProtocolToday enables organizations, embassies and individuals to meet the needs and expectations at national and international stages in public and private sectors. Our masterclass training programs enable your staff to represent themselves and the organization with excellence and distinction.

All our programs and services are designed to share tailored information and “bridge” gaps.

Our clients are: ambassadors, diplomats, embassy staff, consulates, honorary counsels, government officials, and employees/managers of international organizations, entrepreneurs, directors, managers, public relations staff, protocol officers, board members, consultants and other professionals active in the international domain.

 
PROTOCOL & SOFT DIPLOMACY

The advancements in modern communication, such as emails and social media, have made protocol and soft diplomacy even more relevant, as these skills are essential in creating differentiation, appeal and making deep impacts on stakeholders. For these differentiations it is important to train the staff through customised programs and enhance their cultural sensory and soft diplomacy skills.

Soft diplomacy moves through a continuum – from a strategy of coercion, to non-confrontational action. It relies on consultation, mediation, negotiation and an acknowledgement of the important role of values, culture and ethics in inter-personal relations.

Therefore, our trainings in protocol and soft diplomacy skills are geared at helping professionals to develop skills in effective cross-cultural communication, tactful social interactions, keen observation and effective public relations.

Our programs include awareness about the sociology and anthropology of people of different regional and cultural groupings, to ensure understanding of empathy, cultural sensitivity, ultimately and creation of delightful interactions.

KEY CHALLENGES
  • Build the right images and perceptions about your nations and its qualities;
  •  Facilitate process for Twinned Cities with Dutch cities;
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  • Organize events that create impact and experience;
  • Be the soft engine (first impressions) connecting stakeholders from your country with Dutch stakeholders.

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Protocol Today
Contact person: Adriana Flores
Telephone: +31 (0) 6 1168 1465
Email: contact@protocoltoday.nl
Linked in: Protocol Today
Website: www.protocoltoday.nl

CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE GLOBAL MIND-SET

The world is changing faster than ever before in the past. At the moment we are all posing new challenges than any other generation has faced, with Covid-19 around; it’s imperative we evolve faster and adapt robust ways of working, connecting, and interacting with people not just nationally but internationally.

Hence, it’s important for Entrepreneurs/Executives/Diplomats and everybody else who is willing to create their presence internationally must possess and showcase a growth mindset that is more global. Working with people from different cultures/countries necessitates additional skills. To consummate important business deals, projects that need international funding, government projects, and everything else that is directly or indirectly requires interacting and exchanging ideas with people from diverse cultures that is not from your own; requires extra abilities.

Something that seems appropriate and graceful in one culture could mean the opposite in another culture. For e.g. presenting a Chrysanthemum flower bouquet exhibits loyalty and devoted love in Japan, In America it symbolizes longevity and joy, in Europe, it is associated with death. Therefore, being aware of differences in cultures, learning a few words of the local language or any distinctive characteristics of those countries/cultures will help break barriers; build strong and long-term allies around the world.

While understanding elements of Cultural Intelligence helps build bridges, it’s important to also showcase the best of our manners and etiquette, refined communications skills, follow proper Protocol and appear elegant/ classy to create that first and everlasting impression on others. One must always remember we are not only presenting ourselves but representing our company and country.  Based on which other people will make impressions about us. A positive impression could lead to meaningful associations and can open doors for bigger opportunities.

ProtocolToday is an expert organization, Founded by professionals with years of experience in Cultural Intelligence and Soft Diplomacy. They offer well-researched training programs to help you prepare for the international presence. Enhance your abilities to dine, converse, and present at an international stage.

Become discreet and make your mark!

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Self-reflection written by Kruti SHAH, licensed Global Mindset skills trainer in India for ProtocolToday Academy

01 May 2021, INDIA

Category: Cultural Intelligence 

Reference: KS010521IC

ProtocolToday is an expert organization, Founded by professionals with years of experience in Cultural Intelligence and Soft Diplomacy. They offer well-researched training programs to help you prepare for the international presence. Enhance your abilities to dine, converse, and present at an international stage.

Become discreet and make your mark!

Twisting Chess

Chess with a twist

Is this a chess game?

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We like with Twisting Chess to create a game that uses the strength of Chess game and gives a surprise factor in order to have fun and erase some pre conceptions on the inaccessibility of the Chess game.

About the creators

Twisting Chess is been created by Jahn & Pérez.
Ramon Jahn and Eduardo Pérez, started creating a game that turned to be a variation of the chess, and is been presented international shows.
Original idea: Jahn&Perez,
Design: Laloberinto Art & Design
Production: De Tinnen Roos

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About the pieces:

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The gift contains

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MASTERCLASS- BUSINESS ETIQUETTES IN THE NETHERLANDS

2022
Reserve the preferred date.

Mode of Study: Online or in-class in any country around the world.

Our training programs enables executives to represent themselves and their organisation with excellence, distinction and capabilities to bridge cultural and diplomatic gaps.

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  • Government Representatives: Ambassadors, Diplomats, Honorary Consuls & Embassy Staff;
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  • Professionals are active in the Hospitality & Tourism Industry.

Key topics:

  • Dutch soberness: “Doe Normaal”;
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  • Business card Protocol & Etiquette;
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MASTERCLASS- DINE LIKE A DIPLOMAT ONLINE SESSION

Date: 25 March | 21 April | 26 Mei | 29 June

Mode of Study: Online
Language: English
Time: 10:00 – 14:00, CET The Netherlands
Fee: one session € 90,00

Good dining skills are a must when conducting business abroad or entertaining international clients in your own country. Table manners (or lack thereof) can have an impact on how individuals, and the companies they represent, are perceived.

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  • Seating guidelines: correct seating for a business meal;
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MASTERCLASS- INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE

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Mode of Study: Online
Language: English
Time: 9:00 – 12:00, CET
Fee: one session € 90,00, four session € 320,00 (excl. tax)

The globalisation of the world demands leaders, managers and executives to deal with the complexities of merging corporate cultures as part of leadership, co-creation, production, marketing, planning, decision-making, recruitment and task assignments.

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  • Commonalities between different cultures;
  • Cultural communication context
  • Non-verbal communication differences
  • Power distance
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  • Conflict/negotiation style
  • The model of Lewis;
  • Using the Lewis model to manage your international teams.
  • Effective collaboration
  • Strategies

MASTERCLASS- INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PROTOCOL ONLINE SESSION

24th July, 2020

Mode of Study: Online
Language: English
Time: 9:00 – 12:00, CET
Fee: one session € 90,00, four session € 320,00 (excl. tax)

In today’s global economy and cross border operations there is an increasing need for understanding diplomatic protocol and make the right impressions.

Protocol is knowing how to be comfortable and at ease, empowered with confidence and authority to make others feel truly welcomed and comfortable. It is about creating the right environment for business and making impact while maintaining courtesy and politeness in international affairs; meetings with ambassadors, government officials, international organisations, multinationals, corporations and companies.

Key topics include:

  • International protocol and soft diplomacy;
  • Enhanced personal, professional image, first impressions;
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  • Business communication with partners from all over the world;
  • Strategies to gain an international edge;
  • Flags;
  • Protocol in the car;
  • Seating protocol by meeting;
  • Importance of rank & status;
  • Make an effective entrance & mingle;
  • Gift giving etiquette & protocol.