The first JETAA International Meeting and JET Global Forum in 3 years took place in Tokyo, Nov 6-7th.
In attendance were the 20 official Country Representatives (and the special representative from China), 5 AJET and 2 USJETAA delegates.
The forum provided an opportunity for the JETAA delegates to discuss common issues and challenges that concern JETAA chapters, as well as engage in what's known as Opinion Exchanges with the Ministries and departments that administer the JET Programme (MIC, MOFA, MEX and CLAIR). Some of the highlights of discussions (of the first day, held at the Hotel Sunroute Plaza) include:
The recognition and admittance of JETAA Trinidad & Tobago as the newest member of JETAA;
The ongoing role and purpose of JETAAI, which is to build and strengthen the global JETAA community, and provide business continuity and support;
Requesting the ministries more support in increasing participant numbers from smaller countries like India;
How chapters can support and help each other, especially in developing smaller chapters;
Using online tools such as social media in supporting the global JETAA community, and maintaining an active web presence with the participation of all chapters.
CLAIR also revealed that the Satogaeri Project, which was a one-off initiative last year that brought past JETs back to their hometowns in Japan, is being considered for a more permanent, and ongoing role.
Delegates also met with the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games organisation committee, on how JETs and JETAA could help promote and support the Olympics.
The second day was the JET Programme 30th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony and Reception, this time held at the Keio Plaza Hotel, no doubt a nostalgic homecoming for many of the delegates. A grand event, attended by government officials, past JETs, current JETs and media representatives, activities included the JET Declaration being presented and read out in front of an audience that also included the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan. Delegates were later given a private audience with their imperial highnesses as well, an experience which, though nerve-wracking, will not be soon forgotten. Back at the reception, awards were given for competitions run during the year, such as video contests.
The conference was highly productive, especially on collaboration and discussion between delegates, on how chapters could work with each other, and how in turn, they could form a closer relationship with AJET and the current serving JETs in Japan. Post-JET support was an important topic, especially for smaller chapters, to remain relevant and to continue attracting members. Having being revived from dormancy, delegates intend to move forward and continue with the momentum begun in Tokyo.