During the Japan East-Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) Project Ceremony, 280 students from The University of the South Pacific Students (USP) were presented with a Certificate to mark their participation in the programme.
For the JENESYS 2020 programme, the USP International Office completed 14 tours with a total of 207 students, and for JENESYS 2021, four tours were completed with a total of 73 students.
This year marks ten years of Japan’s continued people to people exchange partnership with USP. JENESYS is a cultural exchange programme fully funded by the Government of Japan.
The programme offers study tours to Japan under various educational themes, including peacebuilding, history and culture, sports, disaster and reconstruction, marine resources, Japanese culture and language, tourism, environment, ocean resource conservation and sustainable development goals.
During his address at the ceremony, USP Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Regional Campuses and Global Engagement), Dr Giulio Masasso Tu’ikolongahau Pāunga, said the project would see the building of closer relations between Japan and the Pacific Island Countries (PIC).
He was pleased to see that USP had coordinated eight successful projects since 2013.
Dr Pāunga mentioned the impact of the pandemic on the project was overwhelming, and that students had to visit Japan through the different gadgets they had, as governments had closed their borders.
“The JENESYS team at USP and Japan Overseas Cooperation Association (JOCA) continued to implement the virtual tours in the most creative, informative, inclusive to ensure meaningful participation by all selected young people,” he added.
He expressed his sincere gratitude to the Japan Embassy and the implementing agency, JOCA.
“Their strong support and meaningful participation has made JENESYS a success,” he said.
The Ambassador of Japan, H.E Mr Kawakami Fumihiro, extended his appreciation to USP for their tireless efforts and effective implementation of the respective programmes each year.
He said the JENESYS programme was initially inaugurated as the “Kizuna Project” in 2012 as part of the Japanese recovery and reconstruction initiative to promote global understanding of Japan’s revival after the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011.
Mr Fumihiro said the primary focus of the JENESYS programme was on youth exchange, which enhanced their understanding of Japan, its people, its culture, respective way of life and vice-versa.
“This aims to develop cohesive societies in coming years, which will contribute to unity, friendship and peace between our countries, simply because the youths are always the future,” he added.
He said that to date, 1960 youths from 14 PICs have benefited from participating in the programme.
“Young people are our future, and strong ties among our young people is key to our strong and lasting relations,” emphasised Mr Fumihiro.
JENESYS is an opportunity for Pacific Islands Youths to learn more about Japan, its culture, and innovation while also sharing the Pacific way of life and deepening the connection between the Pacific AND Japan through people-to-people engagement.
USP International Office coordinates this programme in the Pacific for the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati. Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
JENESYS 2022 has been confirmed, and this is the new project of the International Office.