Skip to main content

Mitsubishi Group internship offers insights into Japan’s history of corporate social responsibility

Nearly 70 New Colombo Plan (NCP) alumni have been given an inside look into 21st century Japanese business thinking and innovation, thanks to the NCP’s ongoing collaboration with the Mitsubishi Group in Japan.  Since its inception in 2017, the NCP Mitsubishi Group Internship Program has also given NCP scholars insights into the lives of the Mitsubishi Group’s 19th century company founders, the Iwasaki family, determined to embrace a global outlook of cooperation and collaboration.

Several people wearing masks, leaning over a rail inspecting a workshop on the platform below
Tour of the body shop at the Mitsubishi Motors Okazaki Plant

And it’s something Curtin University’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science student, Fraser Robb says was a highlight of his time in Japan so far.

“Learning more about the Mitsubishi Group’s history and its businesses, I have a real appreciation of the shared corporate principles that they stand by – it’s a uniquely Japanese approach to business,” Fraser says.

“Although Mitsubishi Group companies are independent, they are tied by a common history dating back to the time of the Mitsubishi ’Zaibatsu’, a single conglomerate which encompassed the entire Mitsubishi brand and its vast enterprise in the 1860s.

“It was fantastic to be introduced to companies which firmly commit to a shared set of values and with such success. It's clear to see both the commercial advantages and societal benefits, which come from their collective commitment to corporate social responsibility, integrity and fairness and developing global understanding through business.

“Seeing Mitsubishi Group’s collective intent to move towards a carbon neutral society and learning how many Mitsubishi Group companies are putting a priority focus on sustainability gives me confidence that they will have a significant and ongoing positive impact on this important issue.”

Mitsubishi Group companies host NCP scholars across a range of businesses, including visits and workshops with Kirin Holdings Company, Limited, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORPORATION and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.

Group of people gathered in his vis jackets and helmets, inspecting brewery
Visiting the brewing site at Kirin Brewery Kobe

Mitsubishi Australia’s Kumi Takeda says to help bring Australia and Japan closer together is her passion and that to support Mitsubishi Group’s engagement with the NCP so that students like Fraser get the most out of their time in Japan, is one of her favourite parts of her job.

“The internship program is designed to give Australian students every opportunity to deepen their understanding of Japanese culture and business concepts,” Takeda says.

“Both the students and the participating Mitsubishi Group companies have something to gain.

A room full of participants sitting at tables with notes and pens, listening to the lecturer
At Mitsubishi Electric Corporation’s Shizuoka Works, the scholars delivered a group presentation on marketing strategy.

“There has already been positive feedback about the impact from NCP scholars’ visits, with staff learning new ways of looking at their products and businesses simply from the questions Australian students ask, it offers interesting and often valuable new perspectives.

“Above all, this NCP internship program means Mitsubishi Group can collectively contribute to promoting people-to-people engagement, where an understanding of business, culture and philosophy can grow.

“That is important for Mitsubishi group companies, but it is invaluable for Australia-Japan relations, and we are proud to be a part of it.”

Scholars wearing masks and blue gloves and red lanyards, posing with various artefacts related to the disaster recovery mechanisms
The student visited Belfor Japan, a disaster recovery services provider, with Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance.

For Fraser, the opportunity to establish meaningful connections with staff of the Mitsubishi Group companies has been priceless.

“My fellow scholars and I are very grateful for their ongoing guidance, generosity, and willingness to impart knowledge both about Japan and the Mitsubishi group,” he says.

Students sitting around a table watching a presentation on a screen.
Lecture at Mitsubishi Corporation.
Back to top