JENESYS 2016 from 27th Feb to 7 March 2017.
About JENESYS 2016
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan promotes people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the various nations of the Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean regions. The Asian and Oceanian regional component of this exchange program is called “JENESYS 2016”- Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths.
Around 250 students and working professionals were invited for the 7th batch of JENESYS 2016 (Theme: Economics) from 12 countries: India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Brunei and Vietnam. The objective is to promote mutual trust and understanding among the people of Japan and participating countries, and regions, to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation.
The Indian Delegation
23 youths were selected from India; out of them 15 were students and the rest were working professionals. From IIT Kanpur, 3 students were selected.
The journey begins
The Indian delegation met at Delhi International Airport to catch flight to Tokyo/Narita Airport on the evening of 27th February. We arrived at Narita International Airport on the morning of 28th February. Government officials from JICE (Japan International Cooperation Center) were there to welcome us. We got accommodation in a Disney group hotel: The Emion Tokyo Bay. After quick refreshment (The Japanese are very punctual), we, along with the delegates from other countries, attended the orientation program in Tokyo. The countries were divided into various groups. Two coordinators from JICE were assigned to each group. Every morning, health check-up was done for all the participants.
On 1st March, we attended keynote lecture on Japanese geography, culture, politics and economy. We got to know lots of interesting things about Japan. Then Group A (India, Cambodia, Philippines and Thailand) was move to Akita Prefecture by Shinkansen Bullet Train. The journey of 657 Kilometers was covered in less than 4 hours while enjoying the view of cities, mountains and snow in Akita. We stayed in the warm and comforting Akita Youth Hostel.
On 2nd of March, Akita Prefectural Government delivered lectures on roles of local government, regional SMEs and their relations with participating countries. Then we visited two power plants: Tohoku Electric Power Plant and Kazeno-Matsubara Wind Power Plant. We were given outline of the power plants and also got an opportunity to interact with engineers and company officials.
On 3rd March, we attended presentations by 3 companies: Nippon SMT Co. Ltd (Information and Communication, Energy), Hokuto Bank (Finance) and Dynamic Sanito Inc. (Pest Control). Then we had luncheon with local business persons and officials.
After that came the most significant part of our visit. A two-day homestay with Japanese families. I, along with 4 other Indian delegates, stayed in a cheerful farmer family (with all the modern day gadgets). We had the opportunity to interact with them (using Google Translate and a Japanese-English translation book given to us on the first day J ), have authentic Japanese Food-Sushi, Kiritanpo and Green Tea, wear Kimono (tradition dress). The host family also took us to snow clad mountains and freezing Lake Tazawa-the deepest lake in Japan.
On 5th March, we attended the farewell party with our host families. The Mayor of Akita City was there to welcome us. When we went back to the youth hostel, all 23 of us sat together to discuss our action plan which we had to report the next day. The presentation was to be divided into 3 parts: our knowledge and image on Japan before coming, what we learned in this program and what we would like to do after going back to home country. After a healthy discussion, we prepared our 8-minute presentation.
On 6th March, we moved to Tokyo. Filled with enthusiasm to be one of the presenters for the action plan reporting from the Indian side, we delivered our presentation to Japanese Government officials, embassy representatives of the participating countries and all the participants. It was well received. We were awarded certificates from JICE President and Managing Director. Then we had our farewell party in which each country presented a 3-minute cultural program. We departed with the hope of meeting our new friends from other countries in future.
On 7th March, we boarded flight from Narita Airport to Delhi Airport. We reached our home safely with good memories and a great learning experience. I am thankful to the Japanese Government for providing us a fabulous opportunity and on being a fantastic host to all the participants. Long live Indo-Japan friendship!!!