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Elliot Milton

Board Director
Ireland Japan Chamber of Commerce
Senior Director, Aircraft Trading
SMBC Aviation Capital

Date of birth: Oct. 14, 1974

Hometown: Dublin

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 7 (as of August 2018)

Elliot Milton
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

During my university summer holidays, I went to Boston and ended up teaching English to Japanese students. Getting to know them got me interested in the country, its people and culture. That began a burgeoning obsession with all things Japanese.

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

There are a lot to choose from but I would go with, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” which seems suitably Buddhist for a person who lives in Japan. I try to enjoy the moment, absorb as much knowledge about this fascinating world as I can and meet with interesting people who I can learn from and be stimulated by.

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

I was an Irish diplomat in Japan for four years and was delighted to work on many interesting projects that helped further the cultural and business ties between the two countries. Previously, I worked as a solicitor in Ireland and Belgium and am now working in the exciting aircraft leasing industry, so I’m proud of the various challenges I’ve set for myself throughout my career.

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

I’d love to reach a really high level in Japanese; I feel I’m not there yet by any means. During the remainder of my time in Japan, I also want to visit more of the country outside Tokyo and talk to and befriend people from different walks of life. Finally, I'd love to take up a Japanese art, perhaps shodō (Japanese calligraphy), if I can manage it!

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

I think it’s very important to build up a network and a circle of friends because given how far from home Japan is for a lot of foreigners here, it can be quite isolating. I try to get out to explore Japan as much as possible because I think there's a lot out there beyond the confines of expat life in Tokyo.

Last updated: Aug 6, 2018