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Current World Bank sudents of the PPT program share their impressions of their experience at YNU in the messages below.

The year 2019 was my best, once in my life time. It gives me great pleasure in expressing my feeling following the scholarship awarded to me by the World Bank with JJ/WBGSP at the Graduate School of International Social Sciences (specialized in Economics), Yokohama National University (YNU) which the first semester started from October.

My name is Abraham Eyasu Regea. I am from Ethiopia.

I am very fortunate to study Public Policy and Taxation here in Japan. I am very proud and will treasure it throughout my life time in sharing life experience with the people of Japan. I also believe that Japan can serve the world as research center for innovation yet to come.

To tell you the truth, life in Japan is not an easy task by oneself and I am very lucky to be a part of it. I have no words to express my feeling for YNU community, National Tax Agency, National Tax College, the World Bank, Mitsui V-Net Volunteers, Ooka Administration and a whole people of Japan who are always ready to serve any one. You all are always in my life, throughout my life time and forever. You have placed a corner stone in my mind and it is making me stronger and stronger.

Finally, let me gift this memory to my beloved son named Beka Abraham Eyasu for his first year birthday celebration on Nov 5, 2019.

Long live Japan

Abraham Eyasu Regea
Ethiopia
Cohort 21


Gratefully with my few years of working as a staff of Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service and having gotten to the managerial level, I felt the need to broaden my knowledge of Taxation, gain international experience and familiarize myself with different cultures and style of Taxation outside Nigeria.

I can frankly say that my dream is now being realised by being part of this Public Policy and Taxation Program at Yokohama National University, Japan; National Tax Agency of Japan through the wonderful support of the World Bank and Japanese Government. I will forever remain grateful and thankful to JJ/WBGSP for this life time opportunity bestowed on me. My horizon is now being continuously widened by learning from world-renowned Professors and Instructors as well as the Superb Management and Staff of the MPE Office and of course interacting with top students from around the World.

I have no regrets for choosing Yokohama National University, I have no regrets for choosing Japan and I have no regrets for being part of National Tax College as everything here is so far helping me to achieve my Life Goals. It has only been a few months out of two years to live and study in Japan and I am already loaded with quality stuff.

Thank You So Much! Arigato Gozaimasu!

Charles Alaba Okuo
Nigeria
Cohort 21


I am honored and privileged to be one of the 2019 recipients of the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP). With this scholarship program, my dream to pursue Master’s Program for my career growth has become a reality! I really treasure the joint support from the Government of Japan and World Bank for the generous support they offer to the developing countries.

Regarding my working experience, I have been working with Rwanda Revenue Authority serving in different capacities as an Auditor, Senior Auditor, and Principal Revenue Officer in out station office from the Northern Region of Rwanda as well as Executive Assistant in charge of Domestic Taxes. With this working experience, I had a dream to enhance my professional skills; the JJ/WBGSP has made my aspirations realistic.

I am really enjoying my stay in Japan; it’s my first time to be away from my home country for a long period but have taken Japan as my second home. The Japanese system is very organized, we live life from experience and learning. There’s a lot to study from the Japanese society, discipline and work spirit is amazing! Special thanks to the MPE staff, teaching staff from both Yokohama National University and National Tax Agency for the valuable and continued academic support. From taxation perspective the program of Public Policy and Taxation is well designed, introducing theoretical and having practical experience of National Japanese taxation system from National Tax College with experienced cohort members is equally appreciated.

On special note, I would like to thank the Government of Japan, the World Bank for the financial support offered to me, I wish to thank the top management of my institution as well as my country that always support capacity building and human resource development.

Theophile Rudasingwa
Rwanda
Cohort 21


A sound public finance and dependable taxation system is the anchor for economic development of any country, the absence of which hinders economic development.

It was all joy to hear of my selection to the Master of Public Policy and Taxation Program with an M.A. in Economics at the Yokohama National University and the National Tax College (NTC) through the JJWBGSP. It was a fantastic birthday package for me as I received the news about my selection a day to my birthday celebration.

I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Statistics, Master of Science (MSc) in Industrial Finance and Investment, and a professional certificate in Tax Accounting. I have been working as a Statistician in the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for the past twelve (12) years and I have spent considerable amount of time analyzing tax data, examining factors that affect revenue collection in order to inform policy interventions and tax collection strategies, appraising tax returns from taxpayers and examining the performance of various sectors of the economy. While I have contributed immensely to the work of the GRA as a Statistician, I developed an interest in becoming a tax policy analyst in order to effectively evaluate policies, and recommend strategies that will optimize taxation in my country.

I am very grateful to the World Bank, the Government of Japan and the Ghana Revenue Authority for the opportunity offered me to build on the skills I need to analyze tax policies, formulate effective policies and programs and develop a reliable tax administration system in Ghana.

It is indeed refreshing to study in the rich educational environment of YNU’s tree-filled campus on a quiet hill comfortably distanced from the urban bay area of Yokohama City. I appreciate the passion and the vast experience of the Professors of YNU and NTC. I also appreciate the courtesy, kindness, cooperation and support of the MPE staff. My expectations are being met day after day.

Long Live JJ/WBGSP! Long Live YNU!! Long Live NTC!!! Long Live GRA!!!!

Dōmo Arigatō Gozaimasu (どうもありがとうございます。)

Bright Adzroe
Ghana
Cohort 21


I remember the morning I learnt I had been awarded a scholarship from the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP). On that day, I was in Nay Pyi Taw on business. I was overjoyed and made phone calls to my parents, director and deputy director, reading the scholarship award letter aloud to them. It was the most exciting morning of my life! It is etched on my memory forever.

I have been working for Myanmar Internal Revenue Department as a tax officer for the last nearly six years. Since my previous academic trainings were mainly in English, my knowledge in policy and taxation were limited in many aspects. Although I am learning by work experience and performing my duties well, I sometimes lose confidence in my ability for my professional career due to lack of academic background in the related field. Therefore, I have a dream of getting an appropriate academic degree in related field for my career development and my department. I believe that going to university again will make me more confident in my professional career. My dream is becoming a reality at Yokohama National University and the National Tax College in Japan.

Starting from the day I got there, I had been greeted by kind and always-ready-to-help professors, staff and my fellow scholars who made me feel welcome in a foreign environment. They were willing to lend a hand in all that I needed. I wish to say dōmo arigatō gozaimasu (どうもありがとうございます) to you all.

I am glad to have the opportunity to say thank you JJ/WBGSP for granting me an opportunity to study both in Yokohama National University and in the National Tax College Practicum. Without the scholarship program, there would be many students such as me unable to pursue the advanced economics and taxation degree they have dreamed of.

Su Hla Phyu
Myanmar
Cohort 20


“I have a strong belief that the toll of success is hard work”

I grew up in a rural area where children would rarely go to a distant area to attend their regular schools which was mostly attributable to the fear of the challenges against barriers of infrastructure. In addition, there was a lack of attention of their parents’ towards schooling due to lack of knowledge about modernization. But currently such hindering factors are reduced significantly thanks to the effort of my government.

I have been working as a general manager for ERCA, Jimma branch since 2014. Prior to my current position I was a vice manager at Zonal Revenues Authority office under Oromia Regional state. I received my BA degree and joined the Revenues Office as a promotion in the early 2010 as a district (local) branch manager under Oromia Regional Revenues Authority. Holding a diploma in 2006, I had earlier served as an officer at the finance and economic development district office for three years. Inevitably, in a position in which I have been placed in the last decades plus years, I have noticed the challenges and the prospects of tax administration. I have always wished to be a public finance policy analyst in order to take some responsibilities and present it to my government so as to fund the socio-economic transition of Ethiopia, which was the ultimate cause of my application to this program.

I was so excited to hear my selection into the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBSGP). Now, I can almost say that the sky is the limit. Because I see myself growing to defend the skill and knowledge gap through upgrading my profession in particular and to adequately understand what is going on in the real world in general.

As I did my undergraduate in economics, this program will help me in deepening my knowledge of the subject matter and the practicum part is also expected to increase my capacities through knowing the contemporary issues for sound formulation of public finance policies, tax policies, developing smart tax administration systems and devising strategies to realize a reliable taxation system in Ethiopia through initiating a revenue-enhancing tax reform that broadens the base and make the laws understandable that communicate changes very well. Thus, going back to my home country, hopefully, I can strive and confront contemporary challenges through contributing my effort to the improvement of economic development of Ethiopia.

I found the MPE staff and professors at YNU and NTC to be very kind, cooperative and supportive. Once again, I would like to humbly extend my deepest gratitude to the government of Japan, the World Bank, the Yokohama National University (YNU), MPE staff, NTC, NTA and my Organization (ERCA) for the opportunity of lifetime to pursue the Master's Degree of Public Policy and Taxation in Japan.

Demelash Kebede Gejea
Ethiopia
Cohort 20


Konnichiwa, Nooraini desu. Malaysia kara kimashita. Yokohama kokudai gakusei desu.

I visited Japan for the first time in 2015 for a 10-day holiday, visiting Tokyo, Yokohama and Hakone. I did a homestay with a Japanese host family that was extremely kind and treated me as though we were relatives. Ever since, I have had a strong affection for this country and its people. I could feel the differences between the Japanese and Malaysian cultures and I found this to be extremely fascinating. I realised there is something special in Japanese society that makes me want to stay longer in this country: the kindness and consideration that Japanese people have always had toward people around them. I believe this is a rare social characteristic that can be found only in Japan. The warm- heartedness of the Japanese people captured my heart and made living in Japan become my biggest dream. My experiences in Japan made me want to get to know the country even more.

Luckily, I found out about the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) for Public Policy and Taxation (PPT) through my employer, Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRBM), and decided to apply. After going through the tough application process, I was delighted that my dream would finally come true – coming back to Japan as a foreign student. I am now studying the Master’s Program in Public Policy and Taxation (PPT) and Japanese language at Yokohama National University (YNU) and attending the internship conducted by the National Tax College (NTC) of the National Tax Agency (NTA) of the Japanese Ministry of Finance, which classes are held every Monday at GRIPS Tokyo (Roppongi).

I’m happy to say that I got the scholarship and I really appreciate this JJ/WBGSP for its extraordinary personnel training. This can help Malaysia strengthen their human resources in the area of tax management policy. Thus, I will return to my home country to share my valuable experiences, skills and knowledge to improve taxation practices.

I suppose this is the best opportunity that I should not be missed out in my life. Thus, I would like to extend my highest gratitude to the World Bank, Japan and Malaysia Government, IRBM and YNU for realising my dream. The Sensei, MPE’s Office staff and all my classmates are really helpful. We are one family. They taught me the true experiences of Japanese culture. Karera wa subarashii desu. Arigatou gozaimasu.

Nooraini Mat Ali
Malaysia
Cohort 20


A famous saying goes, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Based on my experiences, working in Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia since 2004 in several divisions such as ICT Department, tax collection, desk audit, tax education, customer service cum public relation officer and recently as a Senior Revenue Executive in Exchange of Information division under the Department of International Taxation, I realized the importance of tax revenues and to have the right policy to a country development and economic growth. Hence, the quote above has aspired me to challenge myself to apply to the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) which offers a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Taxation in Yokohama National University, Japan. As a citizen of a developing country, it has been my dream to get a chance to study abroad in a developed country, particularly Japan. When I received an email from the World Bank that congratulated me as a winner of the scholarship, I was overwhelmed, as this opportunity might happen only once in my lifetime.

In this program, to study in Yokohama National University and attending the practicum in National Tax Agency, Japan at the same time, it is the best combination of education technique, i.e. to learn the economics theory as well as to understand tax administration of Japan. Besides, The Master’s Program Conducted in English (MPE) officers, Professors and Teaching Assistants (TA), are taking care of the students very well. The information, handouts and lectures have been delivered efficiently. They provide useful materials related to economics, prior to student admission in order to give basic ideas on economics for non-economics background students.

I am grateful to have supporting friends of Cohort 20 from other developing countries, such as, Myanmar, Ethiopia and Namibia, who have inspired me to be persevere, determined and dedicated in pursuing our dream. Thus, after earning the degree, I wish to return to my home country with the new knowledge and skills I learned here to contribute to my organization as well as to my countries’ social and economic development.

Once again, my highest appreciation to the World Bank, Yokohama National University and National Tax Agency of Japan for this golden opportunity.

In three words, I would describe living and studying in Japan as peaceful, amazing and fantastic!

Subarashi Nihon! Mata aimashou! Doumo Arigato Gozaimasu!

Noor Dianna Salleh
Malaysia
Cohort 20


Message of appreciation

I am honored and privileged to be one of the 2018 recipients of the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP). Thank you for your generous support and the great opportunity accorded to me to pursue my career at Yokohama National University (YNU).

I have been working for the Ministry of Finance, Namibia in the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) for 5 years as a Senior Taxation Officer. I am a holder of a four-year bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration. I realized the knowledge gap in my professional career, thus I applied for the Master’s Degree program in Public Policy and Taxation to broaden my tax knowledge and skills. I believe in Bruce Lee’s quote “life itself is a teacher and we are in the state of constant learning”.

I have just begun my graduate career as a master’s degree student in Public Policy and Taxation at YNU. My plans at this stage are to complete my studies and return to my home country to apply the enhanced knowledge and skills I'm gaining in Japan. YNU offers one of the finest programs in Japan as well as in the entire world and I consider myself fortunate to be given this golden opportunity to study in a developed country. I am enjoying every moment at YNU; the National Tax Agency tax practicum sessions, field trips and recreational activities such as touring the beautiful scenery of Japan. My apprehension of Japanese language is improving day by day (“Watashi wa nihongo ga dekimasu”).

Japanese people are wonderful, helpful, patient, disciplined, considerate, hardworking and good people to associate with. I highly appreciate the World Bank, Japanese government, YNU, Namibian government, and my family for the support. My educational pursuits would not be possible without generous support from scholarship sponsors such as government of Japan and the World Bank. Thank you for this invaluable opportunity rendered to me.

Doumo arigatō gozaimasu !

Johannes Fudeni Shikwaya
Namibia
Cohort 20



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