Hiroaki Kamoi / Marubeni Corporation Yangon Branch
Do you know the last resort in Southeast Asia—Ngapali Beach, Myanmar? Located some 240 km northwest of Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, it takes about fifty minutes to get there by plane.
Private beaches stretch out in front of the hotels with white sand, wide shallow areas, seawater that is crystal clear, and what is said to be the largest space per capita in the world. None of the background music that is common at famous beaches is played, and none of the various marine sports either. Further, as it grows dark early in the evening here, you can look forward to being dazzled looking up at the whole sky filled with stars. This is the perfect resort for those who want to fully enjoy nature just as it is—those who seek relaxation and healing.
Next, did you know that men in Myanmar also wear skirts (a loincloth that is properly called a lungi)? Here in Myanmar, with its hot summers and copious rain during the rainy season, an ensemble with a loincloth and sandals might make sense, rather than wearing pants and shoes. Going forward, it would be a bit sad if the culture of wearing lungi were to go out of fashion as Myanmar develops and the influence of other countries increases.
Lastly, I would like to introduce a pagoda called Shwedagon Paya, located in the largest city of Yagon. Said to have been built more than 2,500 years ago, it is some 100 meters tall up to its tip—a magnificent sight towering in gold. In Myanmar they use a zodiac similar to the Eto (Chinese astrology symbols) of zodiac used in Japan, but it is determined by the day of the week that one is born, rather than the year. At Shewadagon Paya, the animal symbols of the zodiac are enshrined and worshipped in the directions of the days of the week. In my case—born on Sunday—the sign of the zodiac is Garuda (a bird-god). I invite you all to look up your sign of the zodiac as well!
As all of you are aware, Myanmar is changing rapidly. During and after WWII, the historical relationship between Myanmar and Japan has been close, and our company is deeply involved in business in this country as well. With a population of some sixty million, Myanmar is famous for its natural resources, such as natural gas and copper, as well as its production of jewelry, including jade and rubies. Myanmar also has abundant grain resources, such as rice, beans, and lentils. Above all, Myanmar deserves attention for its abundant human resources, who are pro-Japanese and earnest people. From January 2012, we launched a liaison office in the capital city of Nay Pyi Taw—taking the lead ahead of the Japanese Embassy and other private companies—and taking an aggressive stance. Myanmar is the last resort to keep an eye on, in terms of tourism as well as business.
Marubeni Group magazine "M-SPIRIT" VOL.68 (March, 2012)