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The thirteenth IGDF Bi-annual Seminar was held over three days from May 10th to 12thm 2014 in Japan. 289 delegates from 23 countries and 68 schools gathered at Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
The opening ceremony began with the Japanese traditional Taiko Drum performance and former IGDF chair, Jane Thornton declared the seminar open. During the three day seminar, there were a total of 21 presentations: 6 plenary sessions and 15 workshops. At the DVD session, there were 10 short video clips that introduced the state of guide dogs around the world and, at the poster session, there were 20 poster presentations. There were many questions after each presentation – all leading to great discussions. There were optional tours to JGDA training centres before and after the seminar that provided further great opportunities for delegates to network with each other.
At the Gala Dinner a special guest, Her Imperial Highness Princess Hisako Takamado, made her appearance. Through her speech, she showed great support for the purpose of the seminar, and encouraged our guide dog movement and the services for the independence of visually impaired persons.
Delegates had become greater through the sharing of knowledge, and their experience of Japanese hospitality, Omotenashi.
After the seminar, the Breeding Workshop was held by AGBN (Asia Breeding Network) at JGDA Fuji Harness Training Centre, and 94 people attended. It was a perfect location to see Mt.Fuji, a World Heritage Site and exchange expert knowledge on breeding.
He has also been involved with the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) since its foundation in 1986. He is one of the 26 assessors for IGDF since 1997, visiting member guide dog schools around the world on regular basis.
He is currently also the principal of JGDA Guide Dog Trainer’s School. Out of 63 graduates, 45 are currently working at JGDA.
He left Japan Airlines Co, Ltd Group in 2010 after working for 41years. He is very well travelled, and has lived in UK, Singapore and Hong Kong through his career.
He is excited to serve IGDF as a board member and is looking forward to the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020, as it’ll be a great opportunity for the improvement of public awareness of our Guide Dog movement around the world.
Kazu was elected to the IGDF Board at the 2016 IGDF Seminar in Hvar, Croatia.
The quality of a guide dog depends, to a large extent, on inherited factors. Therefore the enhancement of breeding systems is crucial to ensuring candidate dogs that can become suitable guide dogs. Guide dog breeding organizations in Japan, Korea and Taiwan formed a network on guide dog breeding and organized a mutual cooperation system.