Vietnamese Expat in Japan Honored for Shibuya Scramble Square Reconstruction Project

The infamous Shibuya Scramble Square (Japan) has gotten a digital upgrade thanks to an exceptional young Vietnamese woman - Doan Le Hai Ngoc.
April 26, 2022 | 08:20

As the only Vietnamese employee in Tokyu Group, Doan Le Hai Ngoc, currently working in Urban Development field, has been chosen as the face of the group to promote its train system.

Photo: VNT
Ngoc's portrait was shown in the Shibuya Scramble Square building as a thank you of Shibuya city for her dedication. Photo: VNT

At the iconic Scramble Crossing with giant screens around Shibuya, Tokyo's must-visit attraction, or opening ceremony of buildings, works of art by young artists displayed on the city walls or art organizations to perform at Shibuya…all are with the present of Doan Le Hai Ngoc and her team behind the scenes.

Passion for new meaningful urban development spaces

Photo: VNT
Doan Le Hai Ngoc, Regional Management Department, Shibuya Development Department, Tokyu Corporation. Photo: Dan Tri

Doan Le Hai Ngoc, who has been working in Tokyu Regional Management Department for 5 years, said: "My team has been negotiating with the city government for more than 3 years and then our team is in charge of experimental part to ensure that the light of the screen will not affect people's traffic. The government is also very positive about it,"

The young woman came to Japan to study an entirely different major from her current work. In 2010, Hai Ngoc went to Japan for her International Relations bachelor degree with the desire to work in related field.

But in 2011, after volunteering in Iwate province, one of the provinces affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Ngoc gradually became interested in city construction.

She said: "The tsunami washed away the local park, took away the common playground, causing children to play football on the roadway. It was very dangerous for them. Everyone in the volunteer organization worked with the government to rebuild the park. As soon as the park construction was finished it became not only a place to play for children but also a meeting place for the elderly in the area. At that time, I felt that construction can change people's lives for the better, so I am interested in this field as well as urban development."

Challenges build character

In 2017, Hai Ngoc joined Tokyu Corporation. The training process in her new workplace is slightly different from others in the same industry since Tokyu requires newly-employed staff to work in different jobs and its branch-companies for the first year.

Hence she interned at the group's subsidiary Tokyu Hotels for half a year and the group's railway line for the other half. In 2018, she was assigned to the Shibuya area redevelopment project implementation unit, responsible for PR and marketing for the project.

Hai Ngoc's intellectual contributions have been recognized by the city. In the busiest area in Japan, a portrait of a Vietnamese girl was shown in the Shibuya Scramble Square building as a "Thank you" from Shibuya city for her dedication for the city ​​development over the past 3 years.

Still, the humble woman does not want to take all the credits. "In the new profession, creating a space in the city is a long job and requires the sweat and tears of many people!" said the dedicated Vietnamese woman.

With her impressive achievements, Hai Ngoc was also introduced in the column "Working in Japan" column of NHK World Japan.

Photo: VNT
The Scramble intersection and the giant screens around Shibuya are the typical view of Tokyo. Doan Le Hai Ngoc (third one from the right), together with her team, is contributing to a new look for Shibuya city. Photo: VNT

Her work helps change the perspectives of the locals about Vietnamese expats's achievements.

In particular, city construction is considered an area that only Japanese people are interested in. However, Ngoc, with her expertise and passion in this field, has made remarkable achievements in contributing to the construction of Shibuya city, one of the bustling urban areas of Japan.

Photo: VNT
Ngoc is a model Vỉetnamese expats living in Japan that many fellow Vietnamese look up to. Photo: VNT
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