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The 21 Youth delegates of the Ishikawa Group.

The Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS) Programme was launched by the Government of Japan as an offshoot of the plan of Japan’s Prime Minister in 2007 to invite 6,000 young people to Japan every year for five years to establish basis of Asia’s stalwart solidarity by expanding youth exchange. This program specifically aims to promote mutual understanding among the East Asian region and to deepen understanding of Japan on the areas of politics, diplomacy, economics, society and culture.

Mrs. Espiritu delivers her speech to the administrators of Meiho High School, Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture.

On May 11-13, 2007, 88 Filipino youth delegates were sent to Japan as participants of the JENESYS Programme. All the delegates were divided into four groups where each group was managed by two supervisors. Maria Paz J. Espiritu, a Research Associate of the HNU Center for Research and Local Governance (CRLG), together with Mr. Erwin Daculan, an Engineering Professor of the University of San Carlos, were tapped by the National Youth Commission (NYC) to be the supervisors of the Ishikawa group composed of youth delegates from the Visayas area. Two students from Holy Name University, Ms. Karissa Rossinni Cal (HRM)and Mr. Ivaraxel Ericson (BSA), and a student from the University of Bohol, Ms. Lalaine Dajao, were among the 21 youth delegates in the Ishikawa Group.

Courtesy call and interaction with the Mayor of Komatsu and his staff.

Each of the four groups was assigned to different Prefectures in Japan which included Ishikawa, Ibaraki, Yamagata and Hokkaido. The activities included field trips (research institutes, museums, specialized organizations), interaction with Japanese youths (school visits) and cultural experiences (home stays, visits to traditional cities and historical sites).

After the nine-day-all-expenses paid trip to Japan, the delegates as well as the supervisors went home with a new perspective about Japan, one which is entirely different from what they have learned in History classes.

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