INTERVIEW WITH MR.SADAYUKI, VICEPRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER OF THE ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS (ANA) BRANCH OFFICE IN SYDNEY
ANA are a Matsuri Japan Festival sponsor. During the interview, Mr. Sadayuki was very friendly and weaved in intriguing stories, giving me the impression he was a cheerful person. Moreover, since he has worked overseas, I felt can analyse countries from various points of view.
ANA’s Competitive Advantages
Mr. Sadayuki: “SKYTRAX 5-Star Airlines” is a very honourable prize by Skytrax, the UK-based air service research company that assesses airlines’ performance in a variety of areas. Airlines are evaluated holistically, including not only the appearance of the cabin crew but also the accuracy of its procedures. ANA has been awarded this prize for seven straight years among Japanese airlines. We believe this is because we provide service that pays attention to the finer details.
The evaluations are objective. I believe that one of the main reasons for being awarded every year is because our staff members give their all for each flight with passion. In addition, the staff cooperate with each other even when they are not serving customers and work hard on operating as scheduled. Not only that, all staff members have cared how they could please customers at their own positions and have performed with strong passion. These efforts result in receiving this prize.
Australians are Very Friendly – Various Experiences Gained in a Multicultural Country
Mr. Sadayuki: This is my second time working overseas, as I worked in Los Angeles in the US for six years. Other than these two countries, I have only worked in Japan. This is my third year of working in Australia and I have been to a many countries for work. Even amongst Western countries, I think Australians are considerably friendly. Moreover, the food culture has changed since I first came here for a business trip 20 years ago. At that time, I got tired of having no options other than steak and grilled fish. Now there are various food varieties and I never get bored. I believe that this is because Australian culture has opened to all kinds of cuisines. For example, modern-Australian restaurants have western style menus and yet regularly use Japanese ingredients. You can see in a fusion meal a way an immigrant country mixes and it impresses me. Since Australia is a multicultural country, it provides opportunities to have many authentic meals from different countries. However, it also adds many fusion options that spark your interest and never get old.
In terms of differences in working environment and cultural aspects, I feel the sense of time and the way of communication differs between Japanese and Australians. For instance, Japanese are sensitive to surroundings while Australians say exactly what they think. If a Japanese tries to have a discussion with an Australian with the sense of Japanese culture, the discussion will not work properly since the ways of expressing their opinions are different. Therefore, expressing yourself directly to others is necessary to close this gap. This is the main difference between Japanese and Australian cultures in business situations.
Recommended Tourist Spots That Use ANA’s Convenient Domestic Transfer
Mr. Sadayuki: Haneda Airport is the largest airport in Japan that can connect you to anywhere in the country. Fortunately, the number of Australian visitors to Japan has been increasing annually and reached approximately 500,000.
A ski trip is one of the most popular programs with a great number of tourists, regardless of their age or gender, visiting mainly Hokkaido and Shinshu, especially from December to February. In addition to the Golden Route of Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, Hiroshima is also a popular tourist destination. Apart from this route, there are 47 prefectures in Japan, where you can enjoy various attractions in each prefecture. I would like tourists to come to Japan 47 times so as to visit and experience each prefecture. Particularly, I would recommend you visit the Tohoku area and Kyushu area, even many Japanese people have never been to both these areas. Kyushu area, for example, is famous for having the ultimate hot springs (onsen), which are well-worth visiting.
Appreciation for Australian People and ANA’s Future Activity
Mr. Sadayuki: First, I appreciate that more than 500,000 of those who live in Australia choose Japan for travel rather than other countries. In my opinion, Australian people are one of the best overseas travel enthusiasts in the world since more than half have their own passport, while just 20% of Japanese have one in comparison.
Additionally, the number of people visiting Japan over other destinations has been increasing annually, despite having a radically different culture. Currently, Japan has been attempting to attract more foreign travellers and working to establish the systems for them. Furthermore, it is said that those who come from Australia are well mannered. Thus, as the host, Japan finds it easy to welcome Australians and they contribute to the learning and improvements made in Japan’s service. Having guests like Australians motivates us at ANA to work harder and make greater efforts.
I myself would people like to increase the opportunities and range of interaction with local people through private initiatives with schools and sports for younger people and not just through businesses. Through such activities, I would like to contribute to the friendly bilateral relationship as an individual as well as a company, ANA. It is wonderful that ANA can connect our two countries.
Enthusiasm for Matsuri Japan Festival 2018
Mr. Sadayuki: It was December 2015 when I came here to Australia and also participated in the Matsuri for ANA that year. In that sense, I appreciate the Matsuri for providing the opportunity for introducing ANA to a number of people. The reason for the growing number of visitors each year to the Matsuri is a result of the increasing interest of those who live in Australia in Japan. I wish for the Matsuri’s continued success.
Interviewer: Takumi Nishio
Photographer: Sayako Takagi