About this project
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan has launched a new youth exchange program. The U.S. portion of the program, called “Kakehashi” is designed to enhance bilateral youth exchange and mutual understanding between the two countries. The project has two primary objectives 1) to promote interest in Japan, which will result in an increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting Japan, thus contributing to Japan’s economic recovery; 2) to raise awareness of the Japan brand, including Japan’s strength and attractiveness, e.g. Cool Japan and Japanese-style values.
We are 12 researchers from the George Washington university international and higher education programs, in Japan for the first time (for most of us). We had a smooth journey over, despite the 14 hour plane ride. We were whisked through expedited security at Dulles and upgraded to economy plus by united airlines! Great in-flight movies and general enthusiasm for this adventure made the time pass quickly.
Prior to departure, we met as a group for language and cultural training led by GWU students and alumns who had previously lived in Japan. This helped us prepare for social interactions upon arrival. Flying into Tokyo, we were eager to deepen our understanding of Japanese culture and education through first-hand experiences.
Stay tuned for more updates! This should be quite an adventure, all in the name of cultural exchange.