Qatar Tomonkai

About the Qatar Tomonkai

The Qatar Tomonkai was established on January 29, 2016, and has 20 members (as of March, 2017). We are regularly holding cozy gatherings with embassy officials, expatriates, teaching staff of Qatar University, employees of local companies, and housewives. Also, we sometimes have people on business trips and students. Recently, we have been supporting as a sponsor the “Qatar Japanese Speech Contest” for those studying Japanese in Qatar, and have been giving participation awards to all the contestants.
Yuichi Yokoi (Graduated in 1998, School of Law)

With participants in the “Qatar Japanese Speech Contest”

The attractive points of Qatar

Qatar is a small country as large as Akita prefecture located on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf (called the “Arabian Gulf” in Arabian countries). In the 2010s, the country became a large exporter of LNG (liquefied natural gas) after the discovery of an underwater gas field in the 1970s in the northeast of the country. At present, the GDP per capita is one of the highest in the world, and it has rapidly grown to be called the wealthiest nation in the world. The population was below a million ten years ago, but now, it is over 2.5 million.

In 2014, Hamad International Airport was opened as a new gateway to the Middle East. The construction of Doha Metro (a subway system) scheduled to be opened in 2019 is under way. In addition, for the FIFA World Cup scheduled to be held in 2022, a construction boom in stadiums, hotels, and commercial facilities is underway.

The largest problem you face as you live in Qatar is the hot weather in summer. From July to September, the temperature rises to around 50 degrees Celsius. Boiling water comes out from faucets, and this is not a joke. You can cook a sunny-side up with the heat of the sun. If you touch a golf iron with a bare hand, your hand will get slightly burned. Furthermore, as there are many Muslims, you are not allowed to bring any pork or alchoholic drinks into the country. This rule is very strict, and you are not allowed to bring in even mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine for cooking). Therefore, when you temporarily return to Japan, you will feel like eating pig bone ramen and gyoza set dishes much more than any luxurious dishes.

In one guidebook, Qatar was once described as the “most boring city in the world”; however, at present, it is described as the “city where future development is most looked forward to.” Though you cannot expect gorgeous night life as in the neighboring country Dubai, in recent years the country has been putting much effort into developing the sightseeing business, and you can enjoy desert tours in a 4×4 vehicle driving around the dunes, cruise tours where you ride on a traditional Arabian wooden boat, and shopping at Souq Waqif, an outdoor market.
Tomoyuki Hinoue (Graduated in 1997, School of Commerce)

Desert area with sparse acacia trees in the central part of the country

Looking over the metropolitan area of Doha from the coast

Message from the Chairperson

More than a year has passed since we happened to meet each other as Waseda alumni and gathered under the flag of the Tomonkai in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar.

The uniquely-designed skyscrapers lined up along the coast of the capital city of Doha are a symbol of Qatar’s development. This is a result of LNG that the country abundantly produces. In developing LNG, Japanese predecessors played an active role; on the other hand, Qatar preferentially sent LNG to Japan when Japan was short of energy after the Great East Japan Earthquake. The ties between the two countries through LNG are strong.

“We would like to strengthen the links between people as well.”

Out of this desire, the Qatar Tomonkai started to help young Qataris, who wish to learn about Japan, through co-sponsoring the “Qatar Japanese Speech Contest.” I cannot wait to see such young Qataris go to Waseda on a study abroad program some day and to welcome them to the Qatar Tomonkai.
Yasuhiko Kotera (Graduated in 1983, School of Science and Engineering)

Messages from the Members

Qatar is a desert country. All of its land is flat and is a monotonous, rocky desert. The part of the desert where you can expect a camel caravan can be only be seen sparsely in the southern part of the country. While the number of the species of terrestrial vertebrates is less than a half of that of Japan, there are relatively many species of birds and more than 300 species of birds are recorded here including migratory birds.

The majority of the Japanese people in Qatar are affiliated to Japanese organizations, however, I am a migrant worker and this is the 10th year since I began working for Qatar University. Students of Waseda University and Qatar University visit each other’s university. I think the reputation of Waseda University in Qatar will be built up further through the establishment of the Qatar Tomonkai.
Masayuki Yamaguchi (Graduated in 1990, School of Education, Graduated in 1992, Graduate School of Science and Engineering master’s degree program)

When I asked an Arabian “what the Japanese word “Waseda” reminded him of,” he answered, “Something digital.” This image might have come from Japan’s high level of technology.

What Waseda University and Qatar have in common is that the male population is large. However, Qatar is seeking to improve the life of all of its people by adopting national strategies to provide females with higher education and greater employment opportunities.

I hope the distance between Japan and Qatar, and the distances between Waseda University and local universities in Qatar, will become less and less in the near future.
Eri Palmer (Eri Watanabe)(Graduated in 1996, School of Education)

In 2010, just before a couple who are senior Waseda alumni were about to finish their assignment in Doha, they held a preparation committee to establish the Qatar Tomonkai, and secretly gave me an order to inaugurate the Qatar Tomonkai. In 2015, I started to hold meetings in a tent in the desert with a few friends with the objective of “Raising the flag of the Tomonkai on Doha.” In 2016, we welcomed Mr. Kotera as our Chairperson and inaugurated the Qatar Tomonkai with about 20 members. The Tomonkai has become one of the largest alumni associations in Qatar together with the Mitakai.
Toshiyuki Ito (Graduated in 1992, School of Education)

I did not expect to have a chance to sing the school song or “Konpeki no Sora” in the desert country Qatar, a distant country from Japan, as I had never sung the songs when I was a student at Waseda. I have spent half of my working life in Qatar, and Qatar is becoming my second home. The fact that my love for Waseda has grown through the Tomonkai in this country could be some kind of fate.

In the past, Qatar was regarded as the most boring country in the world, but now it is a highly developed country. It could be difficult for you to travel such a distance just to visit Qatar, but even so, if you happen to transit through Qatar, please feel free to visit us at the Qatar Tomonkai.
Takahiro Shigemori (Graduated in 2012, School of Law)

At the second gathering of the Qatar Tomonkai

List of Overseas Branches/
Overseas Tomonkai/
Overseas Tomonkai
Branches Located in Japan

Overseas Branches
Alumni Association in China / Alumni Association in Korea / Alumni Association in Taiwan
Overseas Tomonkai
Alumni Association in China, Overseas Branch /
Bangalore Tomonkai / Bangkok Tomonkai / Beijing Tomonkai / Cambodia Tomonkai / Dalian Tomonkai / Hanoi Tomonkai / Hong Kong Tomonkai / India Tomonkai /
Jakarta Tomonkai / Kanan (South China) Tomonkai / Malaysia Tomonkai / Manila Tomonkai / Mumbai Tomonkai / Myanmar Tomonkai / Saigon Tomonkai / Seoul Tomonkai / Shanghai Tomonkai / Singapore Tomonkai / Suzhou Tomonkai / Taipei Tomonkai / Ulan Bator Tomonkai
Brisbane Tomonkai / Melbourne Tomonkai / Perth Tomonkai / Sydney Tomonkai
North America
Boston Tomonkai / Chicago Tomonkai / Georgia Tomonkai / Hawaii Tomonkai / Los Angeles Tomonkai / Michigan Tomonkai / New York Tomonkai / San Francisco Tomonkai / Seattle Tomonkai / Toronto Tomonkai / Vancouver Tomonkai / Greater Washington Tomonkai
Central and South America
Brazil Tomonkai / Chile Tomonkai / Lima Tomonkai / Mexico Tomonkai
Belgium Tomonkai / Berlin Tomonkai / Denmark Tomonkai / Dusseldorf Tomonkai /
Frankfurt Tomonkai / Geneva Tomonkai / Moscow Tomonkai / Netherlands Tomonkai / Paris Tomonkai / Stockholm Tomonkai / UK Tomonkai
Middle East
Abu Dhabi Tomonkai / Dubai Tomonkai / Qatar Tomonkai / Tehran Tomonkai
Egypt Tomonkai / Johannesburg Tomonkai / Kenya Tomonkai
Overseas Tomonkai Branches Located in Japan
Bangkok Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Beijing Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Dusseldorf Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Gaoxiong Tomonkai Alumni Association / Hanoi Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Jakarta Tomonkai Alumni Association / Los Angeles Tomonkai Japan / New York Tomonkai Tokyo Branch /
Paris Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Saigon Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Shanghai Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Singapore Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Tokyo Brazil Tomonkai / Tokyo Hong Kong Tomonkai / Tokyo Melbourne Tomonkai / UK Tomonkai Tokyo Branch