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"I don't know what to write."

An eighth grade student, Shota, was at a complete loss in front of the PC.

"What's been troubling you?" Shota suddenly realized that his father was standing next to him. He decided to consult with him.

"For homework, I have to write about 'myself 10 years from now', but I don't know what to write," said Shota.

"That's a common homework theme," Shota's father thought. He replied confidently, "You'll have graduated from a university in 10 years time. Why don't you think about what kind of job you'll have in the future?"

"Problem solved!" the father thought, but unexpectedly, Shota's face clouded further.

"I'm having trouble because I haven't met anyone or seen anyone on TV who is doing the job that I want to have. I don't even know if such a company exists."

"What kind of work do you want to do?"

This was the first time that Shota talked about his future with his father, and he decided to tell him his true feelings. "I guess it was before entering junior high. I was vaguely thinking that I would like to go out into the world and get an important job helping people living in other countries." Shota expected his father to laugh at his idea, but the father listened to him seriously. Trying to hide his embarrassment, Shota said quickly:

"You know, recently we often hear words like 'globalization' and 'international contribution', right? I think it would be nice to have a job on the global stage that challenges me, helps me grow up and on top of that helps other people. But a company that actually does such things sounds like a dream. I only have this very vague and unclear image..."

Shota's father smiled and said, "How about working at a 'sogo-shosha'?"

"A sogo,,,shosha?"

Shota's father sat down at the PC screen and typed something to access a website. "Look at this. It's the website of a sogo-shosha called Mitsui & Co., Ltd. It'll probably give you some clues on fulfilling your dream."

As his father left, looking pleased with himself, Shota looked back at the PC screen.

"Let's see. 'We need your spirit of challenge and creative power. Assist Bussan-jin to create a town, and experience the work of the sogo-shosha Mitsui & Co.' What does Bussan-jin mean? I've never heard of that. But the website looks interesting."

Feeling some excitement, Shota clicked the [Start] button.

*Sogo-shosha: a general trading company

*Bussan-jin: employees of Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

*Job titles and organization names as of March 2012

©2011-2012 Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. Nikkei Business Online Special, Translated by Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

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