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Fabrice Tilot

Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Japan
Triple A Management, Ltd.

Date of birth: Aug. 24, 1960

Hometown: Brussels, Belgium

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 30 (as of October 2017)

Fabrice Tilot
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

Sent by my company, I arrived on day one with my wife and 6-month-old baby. Stunned by people’s hospitality, lack of English communication, the density of people in Tokyo, and yet harmony in social relations and respect for rules above all; Japan is a country of contrasts.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

I am not sure I have one.
When I or those around me tend to be down, I like to think that rather than always looking for happiness, just realizing that each moment of non-unhappiness is already a form of happiness.
Another motto I like, taken from Victor Hugo is, “The best years in life are the years which we still have left to live.”

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

To have been able to set up my company, and yet have the flexibility to devote the necessary time to raise my children and preserve my private life. On top of that, I could serve our Chamber of Commerce as a volunteer. Finding this balance is a challenge in Japan, where work is so time-consuming.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

For me, life in Japan is enriching and interesting, so I’ll continue to be here even after retiring, even if not all year long. As far as my position at the chamber? It fulfills the need to stay close to my Belgian roots and support my fellow citizens. Generally, I wish to pass on what I learned here, to my children, dear ones and friends.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

When I arrived here, I was told: “After one week in Japan you want to write a book; after one month, you just want to write an article; and after one year, you just shut up.” I found it true all the way along. Don’t jump quickly to conclusions, don’t judge hastily. Things are not as they seem to be, there is much to learn if you dig in. After many years here, I keep on making mistakes, thus learning. Remaining humble actually elevates you somehow.

Last updated: Oct 2, 2018