Episode 53

Published on:

9th Jul 2024

Partnerships in Education: New Zealand and Japan collaborations with Misa Kitaoka

Misa Kitaoka is the Director of Education at Education New Zealand (ENZ) in Japan. She shares her experiences and insights into fostering educational exchanges between New Zealand and Japan. Misa highlights the role of lifelong learning and the changing dynamics of Japanese education that will surely influence what education exchange between New Zealand and Japan looks like in the future. We are also lucky to hear about Misa's memorable experiences during the recent visit to Japan of the New Zealand Prime Minister and the business delegation. 

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In this episode you’ll hear:

  • The importance of the concept and depth of responsibility in Japan
  • How Misa came to be helping New Zealand to create lasting relationships in the education space
  • Misa’s top advice for educators in New Zealand wanting to have Japanese students visit
  • Lifelong learning as a potential business opportunity

About Misa

Misa Kitaoka who is based in Tokyo and is currently serving as the Director of Education for Japan at Education New Zealand (ENZ). 

With her market expertise and network, Misa is committed to growing the New Zealand education market in Japan market. 

She enjoys the opportunity and challenge in utilising her multicultural background and language skills to strengthen education and cultural ties between Japan and New Zealand.

Prior to ENZ, Misa worked for the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan as their Executive Director. There she was responsible for the promotion of and advocacy for Australian and New Zealand corporations in Japan. Misa has also worked in a wide range of finance roles as a CPA in the United States.

Misa graduated with a BA in economics from Stanford University and a Masters in liberal studies at Columbia University. Misa sits on the board of directors of the Stanford Japan Alumni Association and is also an active member of the Stanford alumni group in New Zealand.

Since 2021, Misa has been the partner of New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, Hamish Cooper. In addition to her role as ENZ's representative in Japan, Misa is an active participant in the Tokyo diplomatic community.

Misa is very passionate about supporting the growth of NZ education and lifestyles in Japan and has an Instagram page @misako_kitaoka where you can always find her sharing her life, career and aspects about Japan and New Zealand life and culture.


Prime Minister’s Scholarship: https://scholarships.enz.govt.nz/ 


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About the Podcast

Jandals in Japan
Bringing The Land of the Long White Cloud to The Land of the Rising Sun
The best show about New Zealanders doing business in Japan, bringing The Land of the Long White Cloud to The Land of the Rising Sun
How do you build a brand in Japan and nurture a loyal customer base?
What do you need to have in your tool belt if you are thinking of coming to Japan to launch a business here?
Japan is often considered to be in the "too hard" basket but we are here to open up the black box of doing business in Japan.
We will share stories from successful Kiwis selling their products and services here in Japan.
They'll tell you their tips for success and pitfalls to avoid.
They'll share their challenges and what they did to overcome them.
They will tell you things you can't find in textbooks or on the internet.
We will also be sharing the latest intel and insights on Japan from our on-the-ground presence
And you'll hear some super business culture and other tips from us sprinkled throughout.
Grab a glass of sake and let's get into it.
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About your hosts

Jayne Nakata

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Jayne Nakata is a Southland girl who arrived in Japan in 2002, planning to stay just two years. 20 years later she is still living in Fukushima Prefecture with her Japanese husband and two children. When the triple disaster hit in 2011, Jayne made the commitment to stay in Fukushima and contribute to rebuilding the area. She is the host of the award winning podcast Transformations with Jayne, which is a favourite with international women living in Japan. She is also the double award winning podcast producer and manager for PodLaunch with Jayne.

Catherine O’Connell

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Originally from Christchurch, Catherine O'Connell has lived in Japan since 2002. Catherine has over 20 years working at brand-name Japanese corporations as legal counsel. In 2018, Catherine launched her own boutique law firm in Tokyo, which has become become a multi-award-winning business. She is Vice Chair of the Australian & New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Audit & Supervisory Board Member at TOYOTA Motor Corporation & FUJITSU Limited. As well as the Jandals in Japan Podcast, she hosts the award-winning Lawyer on Air Podcast.