Letter from Mount Fuji

A snow-capped, gallant blue mountain stands approximately 100 kilometers to the southwest of Tokyo. This is the 3,775-meter-high beautiful Mount Fuji – the most unique symbol of Japan and the most highly respected and beloved mountain of the Japanese people.
A view from the peak of Mount Fuji lets you see the Land of the Rising Sun and its five islands stretching hundreds of miles in the blue waters of the vast Pacific.
Similarly to the way Japanese people address each other with respect, they also call the mountain “Fuji-san”. It is said that every Japanese person dreams of visiting the mountain at least once in a lifetime, pay their respects, express gratitude, and refresh their souls.
The Japanese have the tradition of sending a letter of gratitude to parents, friends, colleagues, and business partners on New Year’s Day. It is significantly valued, especially if the card comes from the post office with the highest elevation in the country and has a picture of Fuji-san on it.
Through this letter, I would like to tell you about an event that relates to Mongolia which took place in Japan, sent from the capital city of the second richest country in the world and from the top of Mount Fuji.


A Japanese advisory firm named Frontier has been organizing the Invest Mongolia conference every year. This year it happened to take place in Japan.
The third annual conference held this year saw an attendance of almost 400 participants, 80 percent of whom were Japanese. At the beginning of the conference, only four or five people raised their hand when asked if they had visited Mongolia before.
Not only the country’s largest companies, but also Japan’s smaller businesses have already invested in Mongolia and started operations. Therefore, they pay close attention to what is happening in Mongolia.
Many people noted that Japan-Mongolia political relations are going very well. Under their comprehensive partnership, Mongolia and Japan have been working together effectively and organizing state visits with each other.
Mongolia is one of the few countries that has established an economic partnership agreement with Japan. The maturity of democracy, organization of elections, and the change of government have become common phenomenon for Mongolia. Even though there are issues and problems, we are a country that is solving them as we face difficulties.
There is a lot of progress in Mongolia. First of all, the second phase of the Oyu Tolgoi project has commenced. On December 15, more than 10 international banks signed a 4.4 billion USD project financing package with Oyu Tolgoi. A large Canadian bank is also investing in Xac Bank.
In two year’s time, Ulaanbaatar’s new airport will be commissioned and is going to be managed by the Japanese. The airport will also be used by Japanese aviation companies and be turned into a large regional hub where flights are always on time.
Furthermore, the Japanese are building a hospital in Ulaanbaatar to be used by the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences. Japanese standards of industry and services are penetrating many areas in our country, which is likely to bring quality improvement and enhance competitiveness.
In addition, the cultural and educational relations of the two nations have been developing rapidly, resulting in thousands of Mongolian students studying in Japan and an increased exchange of visitors. During the conference, it was also emphasized that some of the construction workforce for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games would be sourced from Mongolia.
However, there is a lot of room for improvement. In Mongolia’s banking sector, 14.7 percent of total loans are bad loans due to the fact that approximately seven percent are unprofitable loans and 7.4 percent are expired loans.
A representative from Moody’s, which has recently downgraded Mongolia’s credit ratings, said that if the Oyu Tolgoi project financing was to be delayed, the nation’s credit ratings would be lowered further.
Sales overall have slowed down while the capital market has become idle. However, things are unlikely to be shaken since Mongolian banks have learned to better manage their collateral capital.
Even though industry and services have centralized in Ulaanbaatar, there is not a free economic trade zone. Commodity prices are falling, public expenditures are shrinking, and deficit is rising. Also, the granting of loans has decreased.
A representative from the International Monetary Fund noted, that instead of accumulating savings, Mongolia acquired foreign loans and increased its foreign debt when the economy was growing rapidly. He also said that Mongolia now needs to separate the commercial and non-commercial operations of Development Bank and continue tight monetary policy.
There are some projects that have commenced in Mongolia to develop industries other than mining and increase the number of products that are being exported.
Several participants noted, that unless we produce supreme quality, highly priced products and services, it will be impossible for Mongolia to compete with China in terms of economy of scale.


Shizuoka Prefecture, populated by 3.8 million people, is located to the west of Mount Fuji and is ranked in the top 10 economies out of Japan’s 47 prefectures. The famous firms Suzuki, Honda, and Yamaha are located in Hamamatsu, which leads the prefecture in terms of industrialization.
This prefecture has been working together with our Dornogovi Province for five years now. Approximately 20 senior students from Dornogovi High School visit Japan every year to meet Japanese students, live there, and promote Mongolian traditional arts.
Also, High School No.5 in Sainshand started teaching Japanese to the public for free. People with disabilities in Mongolia established a Frisbee association and participate in an annual international Frisbee competition held in Shizuoka.
Kitigawa, head of the Shizuoka-Mongolia Friendship Society and owner of Kitagawa Industries, coordinates this partnership and sees a bright future in the relations of the people of our two countries.
Heita Kawakatshu, the governor of Shizuoka Prefecture, has visited Mongolia three times and arranged for our judo, free wrestling, and cycling contestants in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games to train in Japan.
Only two cities located near Mount Fuji have been highlighted here, but there are many important events taking place in Japan-Mongolia relations and cultural exchange, including sumo. Japan, which is Mongolia’s essential partner and neighbor, is coming closer and closer.

Trans. by B.AMAR

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=17527

Posted by on Dec 21 2015. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Comments for “Letter from Mount Fuji”

  1. Point is ; Mangolia being a land locked country has to make consistent efforts to manufacture cost effective articles. However, like India , it may try to succeed in services export sectors like software etc. Though we also hear that mining can be a thriving opportunity in Mangolia.

  2. if you have lots of workers in the Olympics, there is a good chance of having good games. It is good to have the investor from Japan to understand the relation between the countries and have the cultural exchange possibilities for education.

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