Alex's Comments


Working under Mrs. Makiyama has been a pleasure and an eye-opener into the world of Japanese politics. As some one who has always had an interest in politics, this internship opportunity has allowed me to witness events that could potentially shape the policies of Japan. It has been fascinating working within the political machine and seeing first hand the cogs and gears that make Japan run. Mrs. Makiyama has given me the opportunity that most foreigners would be unable to experience; working within the Japanese Diet. As someone who has grown up in Japan, this internship has given me an insight into the political machinations of my adopted country. I have grown a fondness for politics, and even after this short time working under Mrs. Makiyama, I believe I want to further pursue a career in politics. The internship has also greatly increased my Japanese speaking ability exponentially. Thanks to Mrs. Makiyama, I am currently experiencing a once in a life time opportunity that has shown me the intricacies and the excitement that can be found within the world of politics. 


Dong Wan's Comments


Despite the fact that I lived in Japan for about 13 years, as an international student who never received Japanese education, I greatly lacked general knowledge about Japan.  I never bothered to think about who runs this country and how they run this country.  However, through the first-hand experiences provided by this internship, opportunity at the national diet, I was able to learn so much about this countrys politics and current affairs.   Through different formal meetings I attended, I learned appropriate business manners.
   Thanks to this internship opportunity, I was also able to meet new people including several ambassadors, ministers, and experts in different fields.  I also made new friends through this internship opportunity.

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Nobuko's Comments


Prior to this internship, I had limited knowledge of Japanese politics and never would have imagined myself engaging in such a field. This particular internship, however, was intriguing because it was in an internationally oriented environment. Working at Hiroe Makiyamas office has definitely been an eye-opening experience, mostly because of Makiyamas generosity towards the interns. Makiyama helps us to expand our horizons and achieve a fulfilling and meaningful internship by letting us attend meetings that may be of our interest, and engage in tasks that fit our personal talents. Overall, this internship has been an exciting learning experience.  


Edward's Comments


Being a former graduate of an international school, Upper House Member, Makiyama Hiroe tries her best to stay true to her roots by hiring interns who also graduated from international schools, or has an international background.  Makiyama tries her best to foster an office-like yet teaching environment by accepting college interns and providing them a chance to be part of the numerous facets of Japanese politics.  For many foreigners this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to understand not only the state of politics in Japan, but also to learn more about Japanese people.  She encourages the interns to share her same passion for politics by inviting her interns to various summits and meetings.  Despite being a politician whose schedule is best described as hectic, on a good day, Makiyama still has time to identify and utilize the talent of her interns.    Being a foreigner myself, one of the things I find most frustrating in Japan is my inability to communicate with Japanese people.  Due to my deficiency, I am often disregarded in many job hiring processes.  However, with Makiyamas help, I believe I have found a job for international students whose first language is not Japanese.  
This unique and rewarding internship is held throughout the year and hopefully it will influence other politicians or companies to engender more opportunities for foreigners.

元インターナショナルスクールの生徒であるということもあり、参議院議員の牧山ひろえさんは自分のルーツを大事にするべくインターナショナルスクールの卒業生など国際的なバックグラウンドを持つ者をインターンとして雇っている。牧山さんは大学生インターンを雇い、彼らに様々な日本政治に触れるチャンスを与えることでオフィス内での学習的空間作りを心がけている。外国人にとってこのようなインターンは日本の政治を理解し、そして日本人そのものを知ることのできるめったにない機会なのである。牧山さんは自分の政治に対する情熱を共有すべく、インターンにもサミットや会議に出席する機会を設けている。毎日が非常に忙しい政治家ではあるものの、時間のある時、牧山はインターンの才能を見つけ出しそれを生かすような仕事を割り振ってくれる。   自分自身外国人として、日本人と思うようにコミュニケーションが取れないことに日々フラストレーションを感じる。日本語があまり得意ではない故に、雇ってもらえないことが多々ある。しかし、牧山のおかげで、インターナショナルな者でも仕事のできる場を見つけることができた。このようにユニークで働き甲斐のあるインターンシップは一年中設けられており、他の政治家や企業もより積極的に外国人を受け入れてくれることを願おう。

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