16 Dec 2016

Sakura Scholarship winners 2016/2017 chosen

Japan as an endless source of inspiration

More than 80 candidates from around 30 faculties across Serbia applied with exceptional and original ideas for Sakura Scholarships which are being awarded by Japan Tobacco International, in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan for the sixth year in a row. Japan proved to be a very inspiring topic for Serbian students and researchers who submitted research papers on a wide range of topics: Japanese literature, martial arts, cuisine, legal and economic policy, diplomacy, education, and philosophy.

The Sakura Scholarship committee had the difficult task of choosing five of the best ideas, based on their originality, relevance, research potential, theoretical and practical approach. The chosen winners for 2016/2017 are:

Danilo Milicev and Kristina Erdeg with the topic: “Possibilities of applying Kaizen management in educational programs and teaching“
Milana Jovanov: “How to apply Japanese experience in challenges that the aging of the population brings for Serbia“
Nikola Blagojevic: “The Japanese educational system as a model for improving Serbia’s position on the international PISA testing“
Valentina Opancina: “The Law on Health Care and malpractice in treating patients – comparative analysis, experiences, challenges and reforms in Japan and Serbia“
Vidak Radenovic: “Characteristics and development possibilities of the agricultural industry in the field of organic food production in Japan and Serbia”

“In 2011, JTI started the Sakura Scholarship program which has been continuosly contributing to Japan-related research for six years. I’m very glad to see there is constant great interest in this topic and I’m eagerly awaiting the final research papers of this generation of winners. I would like to thank everyone at JTI for their effort and I’m convinced that this program will contribute to better understanding and friendship between Japan and Serbia”, stated H.E. Juichi Takahara, Ambassador of Japan.

“The past six years have proven how much inspiration and useful insight Japan has to offer, whether it is art, public policy, business or Kaizen philosophy. We have received around 700 incredibly diverse research ideas since we started this program, which truly shows how many possibilities exist for applying best Japanese practices in Serbia. The Sakura Scholarships are awarded to young experts who we believe have the biggest potential and capability to lead positive changes and development in their communities, which is something we strongly support as a foreign company with long-term investment plans in Serbia”, said Didier Ellena, Vice President and General Manager at JTI Adriatica.

The Sakura Scholarship was named after the Japanese cherry blossom tree, well known for its beautiful blossoms as well as being a symbol of happiness and prosperity. Promoting Japanese heritage and culture in Serbia initiated the founding of this competition, as well as strengthening the close friendship between Serbia and Japan.