Tsukuba Denki(Electric) has launched its family business since 1947 with 70% of hydroelectric power generation and 30% of New Plant business. In pursuit of globalism, Tsukuba Denki is the largest customer of TEPCO(Tokyo Electric Power Company) and an agency of Hitachi, and it has two Korean, two Chinese, one Thai and Mr. Sai Aung Htet Soe of Myanmar. General Manager Kim Yong-Boon is enthusiastic about her work because she has earned an electrical qualification license no more in Korea. It is also very rare for women to acquire the electrical license in Japan.
Interest in history
I majored in East Asian history during the Keio(慶應) university period and was very interested in the Asian diplomacy and Asian resources war including oil and coal. However, the hydropower project what I do is utilizing the power of nature and it is too good to fight. Interest in such history has led me into Southeast Asia and eventually to Myanmar.
Bond with Myanmar
18 years ago, Myanmar people came to Japan to buy 50 hydro-power generators and made a relationship with Myanmar. 10 years ago, I went to Myanmar Electric Power Corporation in Nay Phi Taw to deliver my presentation about the vision of hydro-power. Since last year, with the request of Hitachi, I have visited Myanmar four times and looked for a chance to promote the project. In Myanmar, they do not yet understand our technology and so we want to concentrate on the maintenance and repair of the hydroelectric power station in Myanmar. At the same time, we want to transfer the know-how of electricity, such as power generation, transmission and receiving electricity technology to Myanmar.
Relation and cooperation with Korea
I was in charge of the maintenance of the Cheongpyong Dam and Paldang Dam in the Han River with KEPCO(Korea Electric Power Corporation) 15 years ago. I would like to work with Korean technicians who understand this system and know-how. We draw and design it and Korean companies move actively in the field, I think our collaborative system is the most fitted.
What I want to do in Myanmar
Hydro power is becoming more important as the international community has changed its perception that nuclear power is a danger today. Young people under 50, however, do not understand this technology. I want to share my know-how in hydropower technology with Myanmar, and cooperate with Korea which is influential in Myanmar. Japan has the world’s best hydropower technology with Europe, and the Irrawaddy River and the Salween River in Shan State are like virgin river, so we are interested in that. We already built a hydroelectric power plant at Chiang Mai in Thailand and a hydro power plant in Laos 25 years ago. Based on this know-how, we are now looking into sites in Myanmar. I would like to make a contribution to rapidly growing Myanmar by informing Myanmar of know-how learned in Southeast Asia. For this purpose, I think it is necessary for Myanmar to prepare to receive it and actively to cooperate with the true partner.
Possibility of Myanmar
Myanmar is the last remaining frontier in Asia. 10 years ago, when I delivered a PT at Myanmar Electric Power Corporation in Nay Phi Taw about keeping power plants, power transmission, and hydropower plants check, I discovered the possibility of Myanmar. In consultation with senior executives of Hitachi, with experience in Southeast Asia, we would like to enter Myanmar market and are now actively investigating the possibility of hydroelectricity in Mon and Shan State.
Difficult to do business in Myanmar
There is no MOU with the Myanmar government yet. Politics is unstable and economic system is still not set-up. And billing system and financial system is also not yet globalized. Traffic conditions such as railroad and road are tough and infrastructure such as electricity is not enough. If we go to a local area, there is a shortage of medical institutions, so we need to pay attention to health problems. The Japanese people, however, are smart and good negotiators, we are going to do well in Myanmar. My acquaintance is currently writing a book on Myanmar history, and my enthusiasm for Myanmar will keep going on.