The taxi ride from Hino to Hachioji is always a pleasure. The blue sky and the clean uncluttered road is such a difference from the usual we see back home. There are not many skyscrapers here. Along the way, Maejima-san, our JICA coordinator would explain to us the finer points of Japanese culture.
First session of the day, Alliance with PWD in Asia was conducted by Akiyama-san. The topic covered included solidarity and advocacy of the Independent Living movement in Seoul, Thailand, Pakistan and The Philippines. Through the work of JICA and the Human Care Association, this concept is being spread throughout Asia.
The name Shoji Nakanishi is synonymous with the Independent Living Movement in Japan and Asia. Therefore, it was a great privilege to listen to him speak on the history and current development of the movement. He spent two hours with us, sharing his strategies and vision in empowering people with disabilities towards self-determination.
Jun Morita, the Personal Assistant Coordinator for Human Care Association presented the last session. Recruitment, Interview and Training of PA was an interesting topic. This system is not available in Malaysia. However, with this service, people with severe disabilities will be able to achieve independent living. This is one of the services that we are exploring to adopt in Malaysia.
After the lectures, we went to withdraw our allowance from the bank. Dazzling neon lighted up the city like I have never seen before. We then went to Yodobashi Camera, one of the more popular chain stores in Tokyo. On display there were some of the latest digital cameras. I wanted to get some nickel metal hydride batteries. Instead, I acquired more than what I had planned to buy. The booty included a Sanyo Quick Charger with four 2700 mah batteries, another set of four 2700 mah batteries and four Eneloop batteries. I have not totalled up the damage yet as I handed the cashier Y10,000 and did not count the change.