Solving puzzles and more

Expat zone

Solving puzzles and more

Moving to a different country and representing your country is never easy. It takes a lot of patience, courage and support from the country that you are representing. But Jun-ichi Kawaue accepted the position to do that when he was asked to come to India. Working as the head of the Consulate of Japan in Bengaluru, Kawaue has been living here since April 2015, and he says he’s having a “great time”.

He shares, “When the Japanese government asked me to work in India, I had no idea what I was walking into. I didn’t know anything about the country or its culture. Most of my work has revolved around South-East Asia and that was the area I was familiar with. But I’m glad that I was given a chance to experience this country; it’s a great one.”
Born and brought up in Hiroshima, he graduated from the Osaka University of Foreign Studies and then joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1993. He’s worked across a lot of places from there and finally came to Bengaluru with his family.

Though he initially moved with his wife, she had to go back to Japan for some personal work. He says, “It was nice when she was here because we were discovering the place together. This gives me a good excuse to visit home whenever I can.” Kawaue also has two children — one son and a daughter — back home.

One of the hobbies that he has picked up in the City is to solve the Sudoku puzzle every morning.

 “I love solving the puzzle. I’ve  been doing it everyday! It’s absolutely relaxing and so much fun. It also makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something great once I’ve done it.”
Talking about his experience in the City, he says, “Bengaluru is a great city to be in as it’s one of the most advanced and developing cities in India. The climate is also a great advantage. I would choose Bengaluru over any other city just because of its weather. It’s also one of the safer cities in terms of natural calamities — I almost feel at home here.”

He adds, “It’s almost impossible to call someplace else your home after experiencing this weather. Also, according to the Indian statistics, Bengaluru is the cleanest capital and Mysuru is the cleanest city. So that is one of the other attractions that brings more people here.”

Like every other citizen, he complains about the traffic congestion and wishes it could have been better. As a solution to this problem, he suggests, “The traffic here is quite interesting. When there’s heavy rain, you often witness trees falling and causing more chaos. It’s absolutely annoying. But I’m glad that the government of Japan is working with India and talking about improving the traffic system. There could have been more peripheral roads and the completion of the Metro project should offer a solution.”

He also recommends that if any other type of traffic rule is implemented, it must be followed by everyone without exception. “Japan has quite a bit of population and traffic does get bad sometimes, but we’ve never had to implement a particular rule for it. But here, even if a rule is being regulated, it must be done without any clause attached to it. Everyone must adhere to it and there must be no exceptions depending on the status a person holds in the country. That could help run things smoothly,” he adds.

When he’s not on official duty, he likes to visit some of his favourite restaurants like ‘Harima’, ‘Matsuri’ and ‘Edo’. However, he says he misses the small-grained rice that he used to get back home.

“I know it’s not possible for me to get the food that I used to have back home but I wish we had the small-grained rice, especially when making sticky rice. It’s usually the long ‘basmati’ rice and that doesn’t taste as great as the other one,” he shares. He’s looking forward to indulging in the food that he missed when he visits home.

With his work in the consulate, he says that he’s happy to see the Japanese community grow in the City. “There are almost 11,000 people from Japan residing here and most of them have moved for better business opportunities and livelihood.”  Jun-ichi Kawaue hopes to find more time to explore the City and learn more about it. As of  now, he’s happy with the way things are and hopes to work together with the country for a better future.

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