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In May 2001, the Lao-Japan Human Resource Cooperation Center was created in the Dongdok Campus of the National University of Laos with the help of the Japanese Government Development Aid. It is a project under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which is administered through the collaborative efforts of the Lao and Japanese people.
As of May 2010, the name Lao-Japan Human Resource Cooperation Center (LJC) was changed to the Laos-Japan Human Resource Development Institute (LJI). The latter institute continues to be in action today as it contributes in the development of human resources in Laos to “graduate” out of the classification as a Least Developed Country (LDC) by 2020.
With the support and help of people from both nations, LJI seeks to establish itself as an institute of excellence in building friendly relationships through the exchange of culture, business management skills and Japanese language for socio-economic development. It plays the role of promoting mutual understanding so that the cooperation between both countries may be sustained.
LJI Objectives/Goals
  1. To contribute to human resource development in support of market-oriented economic reform of Lao PDR, as well as supporting private sector in Laos in accepting ASEAN integration
  1. To strengthen friendly relationships between Lao and Japanese people
The Three pillars of the Laos-Japan Institute
  • Human Resource development for Business (Business Programs)
  • Promotion of the Japanese Language (Japanese Language Courses)
  • Culture/ Promotion of Mutual Exchange
Toward Establishing Laos-Japan Human Resource Development Institute
Under the Socialist Regime, the Lao Peoples’ Democratic Republic had a planned socialist economy with state enterprises and cooperatives until 1986 when the New Economic Mechanisms (NEM) were introduced. Since then, the market economy is growing but it has become an increasingly urgent task to train human resources to compete in the ASEAN market with skills in modern industrial technology and practical management for the market economy.
In January 2000, for the first time in 33 years Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi made an official visit to Laos to support their transition period to a market economy. Japan promised to help advance human resource development through the exchange of persons from and to both nations. Thereafter, the Laos-Japan Human Resource Development Center was proposed as a base for this relationship.
The Development of LJI
First phase (September 2000 – August 2006): The activities were limited in scope including business management training, Japanese language training, cultural exchange programs and library services. This phase was characterized by a boom and decline in the business management training course. Lao PDR started rapid transformation from the centralized economy towards the market-oriented economic development since the early 1990s. However, during those years, many business persons and managers in the public sectors did not have sufficient modern management knowledge and skills. They managed their works based on trial and error. The launch of modern business management training programs attracted a large number of participants. However, after several years of program operation, the number of participants declined, urging top management of Laos-Japan Institute to adjust the programs for meeting the demand in society.
Second phase (September 2006 – August 2010): In this phase, the programs at Laos-Japan Institute were modified greatly to meet the society’s needs. The master degree of business administration (MBA) program was established in 2008, Study in Japan Fair was initiated in 2007, Honda Award for Young Engineers and Scientist program was commenced in 2008, the on-site consultation on management program was initiated in 2007, business forums were also added. Due to such activity expansions, Lao-Japan Center was upgraded to Laos-Japan Institute on May 11, 2010. Such expansion in activities of Laos-Japan Institute was a very crucial condition for JICA to extend its support to Laos-Japan Institute in the third phase.
Third phase (September 2010 – August 2014): This phase was an extension of the second phase for improving the existing activities as well as adding action research and supporting Japanese investments in Laos. During this phase, Japan Foundation also established Japan Foundation Language Center in LJI, making Japanese course activities become more intensified. Japanese language proficiency test was also initiated in this phase.
Fourth phase (September 2014 – August 2019): In this phase, supports to Japanese companies in Laos are enhanced through organizing job fairs, business seminars, business matching and capacity building. In this phase, LJI activities are not confined only in Vientiane Capital, but some activities are extended to other provinces particularly Savannakhet. More research activities are also added along with case study development in this phase aiming to establish LJI as a think tank of business and investment environments in Laos for Japanese and Lao companies. Case studies will also enhance practical aspects of the education programs at LJI so that the participants will gain practical knowledge and experiences from LJI.
The expansion of activities through four phases as described above have made LJI a symbol of strong friendships and cooperation between Laos and Japan.
LJI Structure
LJI is largely divided into 4 Divisions, the Personnel & Administration Division, the Business Division, the Japanese Division and the Exchange Activity & Library Division. In 2012 the structure of LJI changed when another organization, the Japan Foundation, took over the role of implementing the Japanese Language Courses. Thus, the programs offered by LJI are now divided between the two external organizations. JICA mainly supports the Human Resource Development of Business people through the implementation of the business courses while the Japan Foundation implements Japanese language courses and occasionally supports the Exchange activities and Library Division.

(Graph by: Yasujiro Suzuki)
2010年5月より、従来のLao-Japan Human Resource Cooperation Center(LJC)からLaos-Japan Human Resource Development Institute(LJI)に格上げされ名称変更されたラオス日本センターは、2020年までに後発開発途上国(LDC)からの脱却を図るための人材育成を主な目的とし、ラオスの人々の要望に応え続けています。
1.    ラオスにおける市場経済化に対応できる人材の育成に貢献するともに、民間セクターのASEAN統合への適応を支援する
2.    ラオスと日本の友好関係を強化する
1.     ビジネス人材の育成
2.     日本語教育の普及
3.     文化・相互交流の促進
2000年1月、日本の総理大臣としては33年ぶりにラオスを公式訪問した小渕首相は、市場経済化移行期にあるラオスを支援するために、人材育成と日ラオ両国の人的交流、相互理解の拠点となる「ラオス − 日本人材開発センター(日本センター)」設立構想を提唱しました。
LJI 発展の歴史
第2フェーズ(2006年9月〜2010年8月):第2フェーズでは、ラオス人の要望に応える形で、LJIの事業の幅が大きく広がりました。2007年から、ビジネス研修の一環として、企業へ直接出向いて指導を行うコンサルティングサービスが開始されたほか、日本への留学を斡旋する“日本留学フェア”がこの年から開催されるようになりました。また、翌年からは、ラオス人若手技術者を支援するHonda Y-E-S Award奨学金制度が導入されたのに加え、経営学修士が取得できるMBAプログラムが開講されました。このような事業の拡大が評価され、Lao-Japan Human Resource Cooperation Center(LJC)からLaos- Japan Human Resource Development(LJI)へと格上げされ、名称変更されました。

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