Hari Hara Krishnan knew no one when he arrived in Tokyo in 1997. But thanks to him, fellow Indians have brought a flourishing flavor of home to the government housing project where he lives in the city's Edogawa Ward.

"The objective in coming to Japan was to work and gain international experience," said Hari, 37. "Most of my friends who studied IT (information technology) with me wanted to go to the United States, but I think Japan is a much better country. There are so many good things here -- like convenience, safety and a satisfying job."

After seven years working as a computer engineer in Bombay, Hari first came to Japan to work on contract basis as an IT consultant for a U.S. bank. When the contract ended, he was asked to join the bank's joint venture with Tokyo Marine Co. -- and now he is Systems Director for its financial operations.