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Francesco Formiconi

Executive Director
European Business Council in Japan

Date of birth: Sept. 21, 1964

Hometown: Recanati, Italy

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 15 (as of December 2019)

Francesco Formiconi
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

In 1989 I won a scholarship from the Japanese government and came to Japan as a university research fellow to study the network organization of Japanese companies at Hitotsubashi University. Until then, I hadn’t studied the Japanese language at all and the first impact of it was rather shocking, both culturally and from a communication point of view.

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

Whatever you do is like a boomerang, at a certain point in time it will come back to you, but from a different direction. This is true when you do good things to other people; you don’t have to expect anything back from them, but ultimately it will come back to you from others. However, that also applies when you do bad things, so think twice before acting.

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

After my first three years in Japan I had to go back to Europe and for 15 years I tried to find a way to come back to Japan. It took 15 years of effort and accumulating failure, but ultimately I made it. I am very proud of my resilience and of never losing sight of my final goal, no matter what happened.

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

I hope I can leave this planet a better place than the way I found it; even little things matter. Being in Japan, I hope I can contribute to making this society more open, more ready to accept and bear with diversity and definitely a more pet-friendly environment. It is outrageous how people with pets are discriminated in Japan compared to the rest of the world.

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

Always try to be the bigger person. If you feel lack of empathy, be more emphatic. If you feel discriminated, be more tolerant about diversity. If you feel nobody understands your points, try to first put yourself in other people's shoes. If you think you are not getting what you deserve think first objectively of what is that you give out to others. Be less self-centered, use more “we” and less “I.”

Last updated: Dec 2, 2019