Participants of the JENESYS 2015 project at the Sugadaira Tengu Snow Park in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
Students who were part of the JENESYS 2015 programme were awarded certificates on March 22 at The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies at the Laucala Campus in Suva.
JENESYS 2015 is a people-to-people exchange programme between Japan and the Asia-Pacific region.
Japan Overseas Cooperative Association (JOCA) Executive Director, Mr. Hideshige Amida said JENESYS 2015 was one of the most significant projects because of the participants' intelligence and positive attitude towards the programme.
“At the time of the home stay, you have built a good relationship like a real family and promised to see them again with tears when you left your Japanese parents' homes,” Mr Amida said.
“This project had a good influence on the Japanese people too. We would like to say thanks to all the participants for trying to understand Japan and make friends with Japanese people,” he added.
USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra said the night was dedicated to awarding the Alumni of JENESYS 2015 Project (approximately 120 awardees) with certificates of participation and individually acknowledge their involvement on the project.
As part of their trip to Japan, the participants took part in various interactive activities that entailed short site visits to national science museums, religious sites and temples, nature parks, castles, high schools, child care centres, nursing homes, farm-stay, homestays and local government located in various prefectures of Japan.
Professor Chandra said the key focus of this programme is to promote mutual trust and understanding among the people of Japan and the Asia Pacific region, and to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation.
“It is also to promote a global understanding of Japan’s society, history, diverse culture, politics, and diplomatic relations,” he noted.
Project Coordinator Ilana Burness acknowledged the Government of Japan and her People for this generous contribution which has strengthened relations between USP and the project recipients.
In total, 280 youths (including two women with disabilities) have participated in JENESYS 2015.
The participants were from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds which included 16 Pacific Island countries including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Niue, Nauru, Tuvalu and Cook Islands.
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