Making a FRC team in Japan

Hello. I’m originally from Japan and now live in Canada, but I’m going back to Japan in next June. I had a lot of fun doing FRC and want to do it again because I still have time. But is it possible to make a new team in Japan? Not meaning the earthquakes and stuff, but meaning where to have the regionals, languages and stuff.

Can you do it? I can’t think of a reason why not–3132 competes from Australia.

It’s going to be much more expensive, and it’s going to introduce a whole new set of challenges…but if you’ve got the drive and planets align there’s nothing to stop you from going for it.

I could definitely see you guys going to the Hawaii regional. Now that would be cool!

<Edit> Billfred beat me </Edit>

Regional wise it is very possible to have team in Japan. IIRC there is an Australian team that travels to the Hawaii Regional, and I bet you can do that. As for language, I am not sure how much English is taught by Japanese schools. I have met some exchange students from Japan that are very fluent in English, so a school that teaches English might be the best for you. Then again, you could always teach English during the offseason, or ensure that the traveling team knows sufficient English.

Best of luck!

From what I remember of my time in Japan, students at the high school age are definitely good enough at English to compete at an English speaking regional.

The Hawaii Regional is probably the best place for you guys. Starting a Japan Regional will be possible once you have several teams in Japan.

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but but but… Japan builds giant robots and they’ll always win… :frowning: -to much anime for me- :smiley:

I think a Japanese team would be great. Its always great to see teams appear worldwide

I would definitely contact FIRST about what you want to do since you will definitely need some help from them along the way.

Japan already has a big presence in FLL. You can probably work with the FLL partner as well.

I also believe 359 is working on an outreach to Japan. I think they would appreciate a call.

Good luck, I hope you have tremendous success in founding a FRC Japanese team. As a fellow Japanese, I couldn’t believe they weren’t any teams in Japan. Your intentions had made my day a lot! Thank you!

There should be no lack of corporate sponsors for a team in Japan. Given the presence of FLL there, Im surprised that there hasn’t already been a move to develop an extensive group of FRC teams there.

Starting teams in Japan would be a great boost for FIRST.

Dr. Bob

I would love to see a Japanese team competing. I am available to help with support via email or phone if needed.

Due to the earthquake that hit back in March, one of our DOD schools that hosted a VEX tournament is no longer having one after 2 years.
The main teacher coordinator who worked at ASIJ in Tokyo, left after 22 years there, for fear of the radiation fallout with his 3 kids.
He has since packed his bags and moved to Florida.

We have been trying for several years now contacting schools and introducing them to FIRST. Its been tough since the logistics and cost to do FIRST is enormous.

I would definitely suggest the HI regional as others from the Phillipines and Australia have come in the past.

There’s teams from Turkey that compete at the Seattle Regional every year, so I’m sure that if you could get a dedicated group of students and mentors together in Japan (and find the proper fundraising of course) you would be able to attend a regional.

We would love to see you at the Seattle Regionals next year if you form a team =D

My personal suggestion, which is largely speculative in this case and may well be very erroneous, would be that it might be easier to start an FRC team in Japan in (or in partnership with) an “American” school or other international school. The desire to compete in an international, and primarily English-speaking, competition would likely be greater there than other schools. And things like passports and parental support for traveling would be lesser issues. Cost would obviously still be an issue.

I was fortunate enough to start in FRC last year as a mentor with 3132 in Australia during their first year, so here’s my input based on experience.

  • Work closely with FIRST to get their help and support. There is a lot to do logistically to make this happen. Just getting the kit of parts could prove hard, depending on customs laws in Japan or the US. But get in touch early and see what can be done, and keep in touch regularly.
  • Travel to a regional will be the biggest expense in your budget. Last year we traveled to New Hampshire for GSR, and this year the team went to Hawaii. You don’t have to go to the closest regional.
  • Try to partner with/work with a team or teams elsewhere that have experience. The interaction of students is great, and they can help guide and teach the students on your new team. Similarly, mentor interaction is useful.

I know the teams from Turkey travel to different regionals, and I also know (this year at least) it takes a while to get the kit of parts. So start at step 1 early, and that is, contact FIRST.

Good luck. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

Definitely true, however, cost is sometimes everything for a team.
As the only non-Hawaii team who participated in Hawaii last year, there was certainly something noticeably different compared to 2008 when several mainland teams came.

As someone else wrote somewhere here on CD :slight_smile: “Once you are on the plane, the cost to go 2000 or 200 miles is about the same.” We have had Mexican teams in Portland, and the team from Turkey went to Seattle. As people have said the major budget item will be travel, but the team will be welcome to any regional.

Agreed. Often from Australia it can cost less to go further, depending on if it is a major travel route etc., in addition to any current discounts. Let’s face it - to go anywhere from Australia costs a lot!

To adjust my statement: You don’t have to go to the closest regional, but you do have to be able to pay for it. :slight_smile:

Keeping that in mind, you will certainly want some good sponsorship and fundraising efforts. Aiming to subsidise travel for students will be easier than attempting complete cost coverage.

Culturally it seems like Hawaii is also the best choice, at least for their very first regional.

I just felt like getting back to this post. Four years has passed, and I could start the first team in my home country at last!! Team 5701 reveal. See you at the competition!

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