Earlier this month, the Japan Foreign Trade Council awarded Nicole Brown, Loomic Chaffee '00, with the Grand Prize in its international essay contest with the topic: Vision for a New Japan after 3.11. There were more than 150 entrants from 43 countries. The council flew Nicole to Tokyo to receive her prize, which included a cash award of 1 million yen ($13,000).
Nicole's essay, titled Japan v 3.11 - Reclaiming the Date, envisions a new "version" of Japan with new innovations and discoveries after the devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown of March 2011. The title of her essay is derived from computer programs that are iterations of their predecessors with improved features. Her version of Japan is "a better and stronger society...where the philosophy, vision, values and innovative capacity of the nation are restructred, while retaining the features that make Japan the great nation it already is," according to the essay summary. Her conclusion is full of optimism and uses the Jamaican saying likkle but tallawah meaning "small but strong" as a final reminder that Japan will rise once more.
The trade council has sponsored the essay contest every year since 2005. Judges for the 2011 competition were Iwo Nakatani, director of research at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting Company and chairman of Fushiki-an; Yoko Wake, professor of business and commerce at Keio University; and Kazuo Mori, senior staff writer at Nikkei Inc.
Nicole, a Jamaican citizen, lives and works in Trinidad and Tobago. Upon graduating from Loomis, she attended Trinity College and received her bachelor's in international affairs in 2004.