The October tour group of the JENESYS 2016 programme.
Twenty eight (28) students from The University of the South Pacific (USP) and two staff members recently returned from the first Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) programme two week-study tour in Japan which was from 12 to 20 October 2016.
The JENESYS Programme is a project advanced by the Japanese Government with an overarching goal of providing a foundation for strong solidarity within Asia through large-scale youth exchange from all around the Pacific.
The theme for the October tour was ‘Prevention and Reconstruction from Disaster’ and it was aimed at getting students to understand how the Government and people of Japan are reconstructing and rebuilding their lives after the great East Japan earthquake in 2011, including preventative measures put in place by the Government.
The group visited the Fukushima prefecture in Iwaki City in Tohoku region, the worse affected area in Japan. In Fukushima, they visited a tsunami site - Toyoma and Usuiso area that was severely devastated.
Students then visited famous tourist attractions in Iwaki including Aquamarine Fukushima, Hawaiian Hotel and Spa where they witnessed the Hula dance show and visited the historical Coal and Fossil Museum.
They also went on home stays and visited the Fukushima College of Science and Technology to promote mutual understanding, friendship, and trust through first-hand exchange with local residents and Japanese students.
In Tokyo, the students experienced a Sonar area, a learning facility that offers the “Tokyo earthquake simulation 72-hour tour” aimed at building survival skills in the moments immediately following an earthquake. They also had the opportunity to visit the oldest temple in Tokyo known as the Sensoji temple, in Asakusa.
“The visit allowed students to learn and understand Japan’s rich history, culture, lifestyle, technology and way of life and most importantly their resiliency to overcome the loss, damages and pain caused by the 2011 great East Japan earthquake to move forward together as a nation in order to reconstruct and rebuild their lives and assets,” student supervisor Mr Rupeni Tawake said.
One of the regional students from Alafua Campus, Lapua Va’vae said “This experience has been the most overwhelming; full of encouragement, humility and hope. Cheers to a better future for the people of Japan”.
Suliano Waqabaca an undergraduate student from Laucala Campus said “I am beyond amazed with all that I have experienced and Japan is definitely a great example of a population with high resilience”.
Shruti Saini also from Laucala campus shared that “The most incredibly unexpected experiences, lined up for a lifelong memory of a fun-filled yet informative journey to a wonderful country with the most accommodating people”.
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