Japan Society Member Spotlight: Jaime Marti

Born and raised in Mexico City, Jaime was exposed to Japanese culture at an early age.  Jaime attended an international school where some of his best friends were Japanese. Vivid in Jaime's memory were the invitation from his friends to their old Japanese school's Undokai (sports day), with its fun races, games and taiko drumming, and a summer visit to Japan when he was in elementary school.

After completing his university education in the United States, Jaime started his career by joining HSBC Bank in Mexico as a Graduate Trainee in 2006. He later was selected to join the company's International Management Program, designed to provide its members with global banking experiences through postings across countries and business lines. After working two years each in Mexico, New York and Abu Dhabi, and traveling several times to Japan, Jaime jumped at an opportunity to move to Tokyo with HSBC.

Jaime arrived in Tokyo in at what seemed an inopportune time, just a couple weeks after the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011, alone on an almost empty flight as many foreigners were leaving the country. He immediately signed up for HSBC's volunteer program and traveled to Tohoku four times over two years to help with clean-up efforts, removing debris from structures and land plots. As not many people were able to physically participate in the program, one of Jaime's colleagues had a great idea to launch an "Omiyage Fund" aimed at collecting funds from Tokyo employees to support local businesses in the Tohoku region. The "Omiyage Fund" was a great success, and over the span of three years, Jaime and his teammates were able to contribute over four million yen to buy local goods in Tohoku and bring them back to Tokyo. The program is still going strong!

Jaime's stay in Japan became one of the most formative periods in his life. Seeing such a strong sense of community in Japan, Jaime felt at home. He made many friends, took Japanese language classes, met his girlfriend, explored Tokyo's rich culinary landscape, and traveled all around the country. Having fallen in love with Japan, he managed to extend his stay from two years to almost four.

Prior to returning to New York in late 2014, Jaime knew that he wanted to keep current on Japan and started doing some research online. He came across Japan Society's Waku Waku Japanese videos, designed to introduce the Japanese language to individuals of all ages and backgrounds. He dug deeper and learned more about other programs focused on culture and global affairs. Upon his arrival in New York, he started attending several Japan Society events, and became a member in early 2015. Welcome to Japan Society, Jaime!

Jaime Marti is currently a Vice President in the Financial Institutions Group at HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.

Photo courtesy of Jaime Marti.

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