Visit by JENESYS2.0 Korean Youth Japan Training Group
On January 21, a 27-member strong Korean Youth Training-in-Japan Group (sponsor: Japan-Korea Cultural Foundation) as part of the JENESYS2.0* program visited the Kashiwara Campus of Osaka Kyoiku University. The training group's objective is to increase awareness among participants of what is attractive about Japan—such as those cultural features branded part of "Cool Japan"—and through this contribute to mutual understanding and promote ties of mutual confidence between Japan and Korea. This is accomplished by inviting, under the theme of "experiencing Japan," Korean university students who have been screened and dispatched by Korea's overseas diplomatic offices to go on home stays in local areas around Japan, visit Japanese companies, and partake in exchange activities with students from Japanese universities.
The training group's arrival was marked by a series of events, led off by addresses from OKU President Akio Nagao and Training Group Director and Kunsan National University Professor of the Department of Japanese Language and Literature I-suk Nam. Commemorative gifts were exchanged and the training group listened to a presentation about OKU from OKU International Center Associate Professor Masakazu Wako. Student representatives from the training group and OKU followed with speeches of their own, after which a more informal social gathering was held allowing all of the students present to get to know one another. The social gathering began with a presentation from the training group students about Korean culture. Thereafter, the assembled participants broke up into nine smaller groups for discussions about trends and such in their respective countries. The OKU students present listened to the presentations of their visiting counterparts with great interest and actively enjoyed their participation in the discussions that followed. The training group students likewise engaged animatedly in the talks, and were all smiles as they got to know their OKU peers better. Following a lunch break, the training group toured the OKU campus and visited the library before finally departing the Kashiwara site around 3 p.m.
A Japanese youth exchange project with Asia-Pacific countries announced January 18, 2013, by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a visit to Indonesia. The project is the successor to the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) Program, which lasted five years, starting in 2007. Its purposes are to stimulate latent interest in Japan and help increase the number of foreign visitors to the country as a means for reviving its economy, as well as to deepen international understanding of Japanese "value" and the "Japan brand" as found in its strong points and attractive aspects such as those represented by "Cool Japan."