Japanese Entrepreneur Encourages Youth to Study Abroad for Global Opportunities

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In recent years, there has been a trend among Japanese youth to avoid studying abroad, citing reasons such as disinterest, financial limitations, or apprehension. The number of Japanese students pursuing education overseas had experienced a significant decrease due to the impact of the pandemic, highlighting a lag behind other developed nations in terms of global exposure and opportunities.

Yuichi Fukunaga, a 24-year-old entrepreneur who studied neuroscience at Williams College in Massachusetts, has been advocating for Japanese individuals to broaden their horizons by seeking education and experiences overseas. He co-founded Taxa Technologies, a San Francisco-based startup focused on utilizing synthetic biology and microbiology to develop innovative ingredients for cosmetics and medicines through genetic modification techniques.

For Fukunaga, the journey towards entrepreneurship and global engagement began with his decision to study abroad in the United States. He recalled feeling a sense of dissatisfaction and curiosity about the conventional educational path followed by his peers in Japan and was inspired by a Japanese student from Harvard University, which motivated him to pursue education overseas. Fukunaga's experiences at Williams College and the subsequent challenges he faced led him to contemplate starting his own business in the healthcare industry, a venture that eventually materialized into Taxa Technologies.

Despite the recent increase in Japanese students studying abroad, challenges such as the lack of scholarship programs, high tuition fees, and currency fluctuations have contributed to the slow growth in international education. To address this issue, the Japanese government has set ambitious goals to increase the number of students studying abroad and expand scholarship opportunities with the aim of fostering individuals capable of making significant contributions on the global stage. Fukunaga, echoing these sentiments, underscores the importance of cross-cultural interactions and language acquisition in shaping one's perspectives and aspirations, urging more Japanese students to consider studying abroad for personal and professional development opportunities.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09