Hiroshi Tanaka: Kazakhstan is the last paradise on Earth
- In your opinion, how do you think the government structure in Kazakhstan is built?
- The governance structure in Kazakhstan is very well structured but Kazakhstanis do not have discipline. Your President has a good vision and he comes up with good national strategies but the problem is to build a special structure for this vision to be ahead of the bureaucracy so that it can be realized without bureaucracy. Knowing Kazakhstan well, I see that there is a lack of proper communication. I mean when there are any requests, for example, the response from Kazakhstan is slow, you can be faster, for example, Ukrainians and Russians faster than before. When I was a key speaker, I talked about the need for good communications between the leader and the team, that is, the leader is not a kind of commander. He is simply a facilitator, an intermediary who transfers the message to his team and here Japanese, Koreans, Chinese move ahead fast in this because they were able to improve their communications between the leaders and team members. I think that in this respect, Kazakhstan has something to strive for. But you have a very strong side - it's an intellectual potential. And innovation cannot be provided without an intellectual ability. And so you need to be more active in order to catch the future.
- You correctly said about leader of the nation Nursultan Nazarbayev, he does everything for his people. There is one "but". Not always everything is done in time and correctly. What is necessary for Kazakhstan, what is necessary to change? Is it necessary to restructure the Government or is it all the matter in the developed mentality of the people of Kazakhstan? Are there concrete proposals for communication in Kazakhstan to improve?
- What is good is that your government understands that project management will provide Kazakhstan with good competencies, and project management should not only concern the private sector but also the government. And this is just the central component, which develops key competencies. The project cannot just be implemented with the participation of the team and the head. The project leader should be a facilitator rather than a commander. And we know that there is a generation gap in the style of doing business in Kazakhstan. In order for the younger generation to be more motivated to work for the future of the country, we need to provide them with it.
- Having conducted the 30th World Congress in Kazakhstan, what kind of assessment can you give?
- I held three seminars for half a day, and I want to note that the attitude of the participants was much better than last year, when I was in Azerbaijan and Ukraine. In Russia, participants were not interested at all. I really liked Nazarbayev University, an excellent building with interesting architecture. In Kazakhstan, I'm not as long as I would like. I like everything here.
- How do you see Kazakhstan's future and how can you describe Kazakhstan in one sentence?
- In one word Kazakhstan is the last paradise on the Earth. It is one of the few developing countries in the world that has great potential for growth but at the same time a big problem - small population. To achieve national innovations, there are important elements: the size of the population, the education of engineers, this is the basis of innovations. For example, in Ukraine there are too many engineers and scientists, and they are left without work. In Asia, Filipinos are in the first place in terms of innovations, in my opinion. It is necessary that such foreign specialists come to Kazakhstan and share their experience, and that we live together and open their doors to them because the population of Kazakhstan is only 18 million people. I would recommend that young Japanese go to Kazakhstan, maybe there is a sharp temperature in Astana but they would like Almaty.
- You said: "In one word Kazakhstan is the last paradise on the Earth", what do you specifically mean?
- I mean that from all countries Kazakhstan has the greatest potential, the existing paradise on the Earth, which will remain. I was in 80 countries of the world and not many countries have such a great potential in view of oil and gas resources and high-level education. Education, like intellect, cannot be earned overnight. That is why President's state policy is very good because he wants to train young people and send them abroad. Well, Kazakhstanis are elegant, you are like the Japanese but the Japanese are not as elegant as you.
- In Kazakhstan there is a "Strategy-2050", the ultimate goal of which is to enter the top 30 most developed countries. In your opinion, with our Kazakh pace, as you said "slow", will we be able to meet the deadline, or maybe we should "swing" for 20?
- You have the probability of acceleration by 50%, but again, if the Kazakhs change their lifestyle, when they become more active and effective and become disciplined, then yes. After all, discipline implies punctuality. In Japan, for example, if there is some important meeting and you are late for 5 minutes, then you generally cannot get to such a meeting. But in this regard, Kazakhstan is better than Senegal, where I teach, where students can come an hour later and this is normal for them. Kazakhstan is 70% - Asia and 30% - Europe, you have a very good strategic location, so you need to take the strong qualities of Europe and Asia and strive for improvement and then you will succeed.
- You still do not know about Kazakh weddings, where guests come two or three hours later.
- Even more than in Senegal? The main thing is that it was only at weddings, and not in business meetings.
- Thanks for the interview.