Junya is the only Japanese in SMATSA Aviation Academy



Jelena J. Baljak | 19. november 2017. 16:01

Junya Sakurahara from Osaka has fallen in love with Serbia and has been educating in SMATSA Aviation Academy for already  several months. He comes to the Academy at six o’clock every morning and goes home at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.

Almost 2000 pilots from all over the world have been trained at SMATSA Aviation Academy during the previous six decades. This year, a student from Japan has attended classes for the first time. It wouldn’t be so unusual, as there had been students from distant countries such as Australia and the USA before, but Junya Sakurahara, a 29-year-old man from Osaka, “brought“ to Vršac some specific habits typical for his homeland.

First of all, respecting the time which is very much appreciated in Japan, Junya arrives at the Academy at six o’clock on the dot every morning. He never lates, not even a  minute. He leaves the Academy at four o’clock in the afternoon, although the lectures end up much earlier. He highlights that this kind of attitude towards obligations is completely normal for him – he was taught to deal with it in his early chilhood. What is specific about him is the fact that during summer he was coming to the Academy by bicycle, but when  it became much colder he bought a car. A Japanese brand “micubishi”, of course. Professors point out that he is a little bit more disciplined, more cooperative and more persistent comparing to other students, thanks to which he, among other things, managed, in just six months, to improve his English language, which wasn’t  quite good at the beginning.

– For our conditions, such a model of behaviour is quite unusual, but Junya gives a good example to other students. He is working hard to overcome the language barrier and master the teaching material – says a flight instructor Aleksandar Popović.

This Japanese fellow is a proof that it is never too late for dreams to come into being. His financial situation didn’t allow him to become  a pilot in his own country. Because of that he graduated from the University of Economics and worked as an economist. His specialization was the reason why he arrived to Serbia a year ago. Then in May 2017. he decided to change his life from the root and enter the Academy.

In addition to all his daily duties, Junya Sakurahara finds time to go to the City Library in Vršac every day to improve Serbian language. He is doing quite well for now. Junya admits, in a solid Serbian language, that seven Serbian cases are the most difficult item for him to master, adding that he likes to make Japanese food for his classmates as well as to surprise them with new recipes.

He introduced Japanese schooling habits


What surprised him the most during his first encounter with Serbia and our way of life was the fact that young people spend most of their time in cafes.

-The way which we appreciate time is the most noticable difference between our two nations. You, Serbs, do not hurry up at all, whereas Japanese have to pay attention to every single minute. Nothing in Japan is supposed to be late, not even the trains. You know how to enjoy the life, you spend more time with your family as well as with yours friends, which I like very much. Japanese are pretty occupied and they always seem to be tired. They enjoy only during the weekends.


-Japanese students mostly choose schools located in the USA, Canada or New Zealand, but me personaly was interested in Serbia, which culture and history were presented to me at my university. I heard about SMATSA Aviation Academy five years ago. I started to save money for tuition and here I am – continues this Japanese fellow.

Comments are closed.