The Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) of the Embassy of Japan, through its local partner, the National Youth Commission (NYC), organized a pre-departure orientation for the Filipino participants of the Japan-Asean-Oceanian Student and Youth Exchange Program on December 1 at the NYC Conference Room.
JICC Director Kiyoshi Takeuchi gave the opening remarks, emphasizing the role of the Filipino representatives as goodwill ambassadors, especially their part in initiating social change. He concluded his speech with the immortal words of Jose Rizal, calling the youth the world’s hope for the future.
NYC Assistant Secretary Earl Saavedra represented Mindanao, and delivered a welcome message; while NYC staffers headed the orientation by discussing the background of the Jenysys 2.0 program and the objectives of the Japan-Asean-Oceanian Student and Youth Exchange Program, as well as the guidelines for first-time travelers to Japan. Researcher and advisor Shinichiro Kato of the JICC also laid out their itinerary, to give members a preview of their activities and destinations.
The Philippine delegation, comprised of 20 students from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, are joining representatives from Asean member states, and Australia, New Zealand, and Timor Leste, are currently in Japan for the weeklong activities. They were divided into nine groups and assigned to the Chiba, Shizuoka, Ibaraki, Shimane, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Wakayama, Kochi and Yamaguchi prefectures. As part of the program, the youth goodwill ambassadors are participating in home-stays and farm-stays, visiting cultural and historical sites and facilities, touring companies and engaging in school exchange.
The culminating activity will be a Japan-Asean-Oceanian Festival, where they will perform Japanese songs or folk dance, to demonstrate their appreciation of Japanese heritage.