Akita Prefecture has been publishing a newsletter for the last few years (which has been posted to JETwit) in an effort to stay connected with the community of foreigners who have lived in Akita. Now it’s a blog, and there’s a way for all current and former Akita denizens to contribute. To learn more contact saito-sayori [at] pref.akita.lg.jp.
Akita Global Network Blog
Akita Global Network aims at maintaining an ongoing relationship between Akita Prefecture and foreign people who have been associated with Akita through international exchange projects, etc. We share information about Akita and foreign countries contributed from Akita Global Network members.
Originally posted to the Pacific Northwest JETAA Facebook group by Sabrina Holliday Carlin:
“For the JET who has everything…$40 at Snapdoodle Toys in Kenmore!”"
Thanks to Virginia Murray for catching this article and posting it to the JETAA Southeast Facebook group. It seems that Linnea Bradshaw, a fellow JET of Virginia’s from 1988, is a Japanese teacher at a high school in Delaware whose class was recently visited by Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell. Go JET!
Markell shares travel experiences with Appoquinimink students
Delaware’s Governor visited the Level II language class at Appoquinimink High School Tuesday morning to share his experiences in Japan and to take questions from the class he video-chatted with from the foreign country during his trip last year.
Here are some excerpts from the article:
“Governor Jack Markell told students in Linnea Bradshaw’s Japanese class Tuesday that speaking multiple languages gives them a leg-up in the job market. Delaware’s Governor visited the Level II language class at Appoquinimink High School Tuesday morning to share his experiences in Japan and to take questions from the class he video-chatted with from the foreign country during his trip last year.”
“Markell wasn’t the only one in the room Tuesday who has experienced Japan. Last summer, Bradshaw took 23 students from both Middletown and Appoquinimink High Schools to Japan to immerse them in the culture. Bradshaw said that her highest-level students can speak sentences, and understand, write and read Japanese.”
“During his multi-city trip of the country, Markell, his wife, and staff, met with several businesses in the Miyagi area in hopes of building a stronger partnership between Delaware and Miyagi.”
Click here to read the full article on the Middletown Transcript’s website as well as see a photo of Linnea with the Governor: http://www.middletowntranscript.com/article/20130108/NEWS/130109810/0/SEARCH
Thanks to Akita Prefecture for sending out the latest volume of its Akita Global Network Newsletter:
We’ve just published the latest Akita Global Network newsletter,vol.6. You can read here:
Please share it with your family and friends. Have a nice holidays!
Akita Prefectural Government
主事 齋藤 小夜里 Sayori SAITO
Written by JETAA USA Board of Advisors member Jessyca Livingston who also serves as the JET Coordinator at the Consulate in Denver:
The Consulate General of Japan and Consul-General Ono recently hosted the 2012 National Day Reception. Rocky Mountain JET Alumni Association Executive Officers and Board Members were among the invitees along with other Japanese Community members, business leaders and government officials (including Denver Mayor Hancock).
Every year, the State of Colorado issues a Proclamation to the Consulate General of Japan in Denver on the occasion of the National Day Reception. This year, marked as “The year of opportunity for enhanced relations, friendship and mutual understanding between Japan and the State of Colorado”, acknowledged the success of the JET Program and the many participants sent from Colorado as a key component which continues to strengthen ties between Colorado and Japan.
The number of JETs sent from the Rocky Mountain region remains strong as does the quality of JETs we send as participants. Additionally, many of our JET alums in this region remain involved in supporting and strengthening US-Japan relations in a variety of fields locally, nationally and internationally. This recognition from the State of Colorado is indeed significant to RMJETAA and to the JET Program as a whole.
Via CLAIR-NY (aka Japan Local Government Center):
The newest JLGC Newsletter is has been published and can be viewed here: http://www.jlgc.org/pdfs/en/news74.pdf
The issue includes a feature on the recent JETAA USA Conference in San Francisco as well as well-written and extremely informative report by CLAIR-NY Senior Researcher Matt Gillam following his recent visit to Ishinomaki City, Miyagi titled, “Appearance and Reality: Recovery and Tohoku.”
“Even people who live there can sometimes be amazed at the pace of recovery. Until you talk for a while and realize there are two recoveries going on, the physical and the psychological, and there is a vast difference between what can be seen and what cannot. This point was driven home for me when I spoke with the principal of an elementary school in Ishinomaki who talked about how many problems the kids are having lately and the increase in theft, bullying, fights, and other manifestations of the stress and trauma that they bring to school from their homes.”
JLGC publishes semi-annual newsletters featuring articles on JETAA activity, sister city and sister state relationships, exchange programs, and local government issues in the United States, Canada, and Japan. The newsletter enables local government officials, JLGC’s fellowship program participants, and other interested persons to stay abreast of JLGC activities and research efforts. At the same time, the newsletter provides those outside of the organization with the opportunity to share their ideas and opinions.
Click the following link to subscribe to the JLGC Newsletter: http://www.jlgc.org/NewsLetterEmailEntry.aspx
Thanks to Vancouver-based JET alum Alison Dacia Brown (Iwate-ken, Rikuzentakata-shi, 2005-08) for posting about this to Facebook. From a JET perspective, it seems to offer a communications model for Japanese local governments in which perhaps JETs and JET alumni could play a helpful role:
Update: Here’s the Rikuzentakata Facebook Page
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012
MORIOKA, Iwate Pref. — The coastal city of Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture, devastated by last year’s earthquake and tsunami, has gotten global attention thanks to its use of Facebook.
In July, the city set up an official page in both Japanese and English on Facebook, the first municipality to do so among those on the northeast coast that bore the full brunt of the March 2011 catastrophe.
Since then, officials have been updating the page to display and keep the world updated on the reconstruction process, an unusual move for a municipal government. The posts, mostly written in Japanese, include articles on Rikuzentakata from Japan and around the world, advisories on earthquakes and floods, and the mayor’s participation at a local festival.
When Rikuzentakata’s officials made a fundraising page in English to help preserve the city’s famed “miracle pine tree,” donations came in from around the world. Read More
By Adam Lobel (Nagano-ken, 2000-02) for JQ magazine. Last year, Adam returned to New York after 10 years in Japan, where he researched satoyama (traditional landscape of Japan) as a master’s student, and collaborated with Japanese policymakers in science and technology while working at a think tank. Adam currently helps manage his family’s business, a land use law firm in Manhattan, and looks forward to contributing to New York’s green building movement.
Born and raised in Marshalltown, Iowa, Matthew Gillam was hooked on Japan after visiting when he was 17. After college, he lived in Japan for eight years, and then returned to the U.S., where he completed a master’s at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Matt has spent the past 14 years as a researcher at the Japan Local Government Center (JLGC), discovering and sharing best practices from local governments in North America with his colleagues in New York and Japan.
By encouraging organizational discipline and providing tools to build strong networks, Matt has helped strengthen the JET Alumni Association, thus helping thousands of JET participants smoothly transition to life back home. He promotes JETAA’s role an important stakeholder in productive business and cultural relationships with Japanese localities, helping broaden the JET Program’s mission long after participants return home.
In this thought-provoking interview, JQ spoke with Gillam about what it was like to study Japanese at the University of Iowa in the 1980s, life in Japan before the existence of JET, and the kindness and hard work JET families displayed in the aftermath of 3/11. He emphasizes that JET—an experiment in grassroots internationalization—has changed how the world thinks about Japan. Matt gave this interview before heading to Japan, where he spent four days with It’s Not Just Mud (INJM), a non-profit volunteer organization based in Ishinomaki.
How did you become interested in Japan?
I was exposed to Japan when I was seven: my sister spent the summer of 1969 as an exchange student in Yamanashi. She fell in love with Japan, and told us about it after returning home. Eventually she went to live in Japan, teaching English at Sony Language Labs. In 1979, just before my senior year of high school, my mother and I went to visit. Before that trip, I never liked to travel. Suddenly, I was in a completely new place. I realized there was a bigger world, and it was interesting. That’s when I fell in love with Japan, its people, food, art and architecture.
After my sister returned to the U.S., she placed a Japanese student in a nearby town. I fell in love with that student, who eventually became my wife. In college I flunked out of forestry, my first major and, looking for something new, got into Japanese language. I did a year abroad at Kansai Gaidai in Osaka, and spent eight more years in Japan after graduating.
How did people react to your decision to study Japanese? What was Japanese study like at the University of Iowa in the 1980s?
Some people did not understand my decision to study Japanese, especially because it was a small Midwestern town. Their reaction was, “Why Japanese?” This was 1982: Japan was just beginning to emerge as a major economic rival, and Japanese culture hadn’t permeated the Midwest yet. It was a strange thing to do.
My sister understood, and my mom understood, but other family members and friends did not. In those days, some people’s reaction to Japan was still influenced by the Second World War: “These people were enemies; I am not comfortable with them.” That only got worse through the eighties with trade friction.
Study materials were primitive by today’s standards: Japanese textbooks by Prof. Eleanor Jorden, a kanji dictionary, and language lab with cassette tapes. Our professor, Thomas Rohlich (now at Smith College) started the same day I did. We had a Japanese teaching assistant from Tokyo, but most of the teachers were white men.
There were no Japanese restaurants or pop culture. Fisher Control, a company in my hometown, employed a Japanese engineer, who had relocated with his wife. At the beginning of my first year of college, there were 30 students, the biggest class they had ever had! That number slowly decreased, until there were only six or eight students by my third year. There were a couple of Japanese students on campus who became casual friends. Prof. Rohlich’s wife was from Kyoto, and she hosted a gyoza party. That was about it.
Below is a feature (in Japanese) on CLAIR Chairperson Yoko Kimura who talks about the JET Programme. (If anyone feels the urge, feel free to post an English summary or translation in the comments section of this post).
毎日新聞 2012年11月08日 東京朝刊
ＪＥＴ参加者は日本の地域に溶け込み児童・生徒、同僚や地域住民に母国の考え方や文化、習慣などを生の声で伝える。同時に、日本の習慣、文化、日本人の考え方、物事の処理方法を理解する。 Read More
(Click link above to see photos.)
In early September, Four Nagasaki JET alumni participated in an exchange meeting with a delegation from Nagasaki Prefecture (led by the incumbent Governor Nakamura) and the Nagasaki Association in New York (New York Batten-kai).
In the first part, Nagasaki residents in New York and the alumni spoke of their ideas and opinions about how to revitalize Nagasaki Prefecture. The alumni proposed the promotion of eco-tourism, making the most of the newly introduced Shinkansen, etc. The Governor, assembly members including the Assembly Speaker Mr. Watanabe and other prefecture officials listened to them earnestly.
After that, they happily spoke with each other about their memories of JET life in Nagasaki and so on.
September 17th, 2012
Counselor / Deputy Executive Director, Hotaka Kawasaki
Shinichi Nishimiya, the newly appointed Japanese ambassador to China, died today (Sept. 16) at a Tokyo hospital, government sources said. The incoming envoy previously served as the Consul-General of Japan in New York from March 2009 to the end of 2010, becoming Japan’s deputy foreign minister in charge of economic affairs prior to his new appointment.
Nishimiya, 60, collapsed near his home in Tokyo and was hospitalized on Thursday, only two days after becoming the top envoy to China. The cause of his death has yet to be known. According to Reuters, doctors were looking into the cause of death, but no other details were available. Police have ruled out the possibility of foul play.
Born in 1952, Nishimiya studied at the University of Tokyo and joined the foreign service of Japan in 1976. After working at the Embassies in Washington, D.C., Moscow and London, he served as the director of policy coordination division, Foreign Policy Bureau and as deputy director-general, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, both in Tokyo. From 2005 to 2006, he served as a as consul at the Japanese embassy in Beijing.
In his new role, Nishimiya would return to Beijing to replace Uichiro Niwa, his predecessor from the private sector, amid deterioration in bilateral ties sparked by Japan’s nationalization of the Senkaku Islands.
For the complete story, click here.
Four Fukui JET alumni participated in a recent exchange meeting with a delegation from Fukui Prefecture (led by the incumbent Governor Nishikawa) and the Fukui Association (Fukui Kenjinkai) in New York.
The alumni happily spoke with the governor and others about their memories of JET life in Fukui, artworks on traditional Echizen paper (Echizen-Washi), plays featuring the sometimes amusing daily life in Fukui, and many other topics.
No.73 (July 2012)
・A Greeting from the New Executive Director (1-2)
・Comments from ICMA International Committee’s Japan Tour Participants (page 3-7)
・Comments from JETAA members who volunteered at the JLGC booth in the New York Times Travel Show 2012 (page 8-10)
・Introduction of JLGC New Staff (page 11)
・JLGC New Staff visited Novi, Michigan (page 12)
JETwit recently posted a JETAA Hawaii article by chapter President Darryl Toma about Hawaii JET alums volunteering to support a visit by the Hiroshima City Mayor along with a visiting delegation from Hiroshima.
FYI, there’s also now an article in Japanese about Mayor Matsui’s visit on the Japan Local Government Center (aka CLAIR-NY) blog: http://www.jlgc.org/TopicList.aspx?topicCategoryID=16&topicID=279&languageTypeID=2&controlType=Display
Here’s a link to the latest issue of CLAIR Forum (Vol. 273), featuring an article on the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Other notable articles include:
- Contributions from Andy Anderson, Cameron Peek (current Miyagi CIR) and William McMichael (former Fukushima CIR) (Andy’s original English version is also included in the link above. You can find Cameron and William’s original English versions here.)
- An article by Satoko Kanesh about JETAA support, with emphasis on activities of JETAANY. (only Japanese available)