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FedEx Inspires Future Entrepreneurs of Japan at the 2024 FedEx/JA International Trade Challenge

Six students will represent Japan at the regional finals in Singapore


Federal Express Corporation, one of the world’s largest express transportation companies, has announced the six winners of the 2024 FedEx/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge (FedEx/JA ITC) Japan Finals. The winners will advance to the FedEx/JA ITC Asia Pacific regional competition to be held in August 2024.

For the past 16 years, FedEx has been working with JA Japan to foster the growth and development of Japanese youth. Through the ITC program, FedEx and JA Japan provide students with team activities and tailor-made workshops focused on global trade, paving the way for their future success as leaders of commerce.

This 2024 challenge required students to develop a market entry strategy targeting Australia for a product centered around water conservation. This project is timely and relevant as extreme heat has impacted Australian ecosystems and infrastructure.

The six students who will represent Japan at the regionals are:

1. Names of students: Misaki Ozawa, Maria Fujisawa – from Tokyo, High school grade 2
Business Idea: Introduced a water-saving device which clips onto water dispensers such as faucets and hoses. Equipped with a sensor, the device tracks water usage and displays a face on a connected screen. Targeting parents with young children, the students planned to develop the device in Japan to ensure “made in Japan” quality and a long product lifespan.

2. Names of students: Akira Ohori, Riki Hiramatsu – from Tokyo, High school grade 2
Business Idea: Proposed a revolutionary showerhead that integrates water conservation with improved personal care. This device offers multiple benefits, including increased foam production, improved hair and skin health, and efficient water usage. Specifically targeting large families in Brisbane, the product appeals to the growing interest in water conservation and aims to reduce water consumption by 17% and help save on water bills.

3. Names of students: Koharu Kuroda, Momoka Hayakawa – from Tokyo, High school grade 3
Business Idea: Introduced an innovative showerhead that reduces water usage by 50% by producing fine bubbles that maintain a satisfying water pressure. The key component responsible for generating these bubbles is crafted from brass for rust resistance. Furthermore, the product’s fine mist also accelerates skin cell turnover and promotes healthier skin, which matches with the main target of urban Australians with a high awareness of healthy living.

This year, the Regional Finals will return to an in-person event for the first time since the pandemic. Taking place in Singapore in August, the Japanese winners will compete with students from Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. This format offers Japanese students a unique opportunity to engage in collaborative brainstorming, exchange ideas and insights, and constructive discussions with peers hailing from a rich tapestry of cultures from across the region.

“We are once again extremely impressed with this year’s students who demonstrated resilience, creativity and critical thinking -- invaluable life skills required of our next generation to drive economic growth and cross border commerce in the future,” said Ken McMahon, managing director of Customer Solutions & Special Services, FedEx. “This program is in line with our vision to nurture future entrepreneurs and business leaders and help them gear up for the rapidly changing landscape of tomorrow’s workplace.”

Since its introduction to Japan in 2008, FedEx / JA ITC continues to strengthen its commitment to help students better understand the nuances of international trade. So far, the program has attracted nearly 2,200 students, with more than 100 students represented Japan at the regional finals.

More information about the 2024 FedEx/JA ITC can be found on the JA Japan website

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