2017-2018 JAPANESE-LANGUAGE PROGRAMS FOR FOREIGN-SERVICE OFFICERS & PUBLIC OFFICIALS
27 SEPTEMBER 2017-25 MAY 2018
The 2017-2018 Japanese Language Programs were held from 27 September 2017 to 25 May 2018. The programs have an annual basis and they are directed to young Foreign Diplomats and Public Officials under the joint auspices of the Japan Foundation and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan(MOFA). The program took place at the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai.
Differenr from the last programs, the 2017-2018 programs included some new nationalities in a total of 34 participants from all over the world. The participants came from Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe, namely:
Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Cambodia, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Palestine, Pakistan, Serbia, Tajikistan, Uruguay, Uzbekistan and Vietnam
The programs were designed in a manner to capaciate us with basic skills of Japanese language supported by daily classes. Some other activities were held to provide us with necessary and sufficient information of Japan and get familiarized with its unique and special culture and society(Host Family visit, Tea ceremony, Japanese Traditional Dance,etc)
The components of the programs were as follows:
a. Learning Japanese Language
b. Understanding Japanese Culture and Society
The daily Japanese language classes were the main modus operandi of the programs aiming to develop practical language skills for our future professional duties, as some of us are seconded at their Diplomatic Missions in Japan by their Governments and some others might work with issues related with Japanese institutions in the framework of the bilateral relations.
We had very nice teachers, modern and appropriate learnig tools (textbooks, website, workbooks, library, self-study room) developed by the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai.
After eight months we achieved many of the goals we defined at the beginning of the course regarding reading , writing and speaking Japanese Language, and could effectively communicate with local people.
UNDERSTANDING JAPANESE CULTURE
Japan is millenarian civilization, a conservative and modern country. As part of the programs, the participants had the opportunity to experience the various elements of Japanese culture.
Cultural activities such as Japanese Calligraphy, Wadaiko(Japanese drums), Ikebana(flower arrangement), Japanese dancing, Kimono Wearing, and tea ceremony were part of the programs.
The last part of the program paid a special attention on the cultural aspect and many activities took place some of them as stated above. Each Friday of the second half of the program represented an opportunity for us to visit or experience something different from the Japanese Culture.
We were able to establish direct contact with the Japanese people as part of the programs for practice the language, understanding the culture and society and making Japanese friends. We, collective and individually, created social relations with Japanese people and many local organizations. The kindness of Japanese people was always a positive element when it came to social interection.
The social partners of the Institute(ICA-Izumisano Cross-Cultural Association) invited us to so many activities for cultural and social exchanges.
SELF & COLLECTIVE STUDY TRIP
As part of the programs, we travelled on collective and Self-Study Trips around Japan, we visited places such as Hiroshima, Kyoto and Tokyo etc. During the trips we met, in Tokyo, our counterparts at MOFA and at JICA where we were provided with useful information about Japan's project in our countries. During the trips we visited historical and cultural places in Hiroshima.(Hiroshima Peace Memorial-Genbaku Dome), the Golden Pavilion(Kinkaku-ji) in Kyoto, etc.
Individually, we travelled all over Japan as some of us went to Hokkaido, Nagasaki, Yokohama, Tokyo, etc. The Self-Study Trip was a specific proof that we were individually able to use our Japanese Language skills learnt and communicate with the local people.
THE OSIPP LECTURES OF 2017-2018 PROGRAMS
A long term partnership between the Kansai Institute and the Osaka School of International Public Policy in the framework of the programs represented an important input for the programs which permitted us to acquire necessary knowledge of various aspects of Japan in domain such as Diplomacy, History Politics, Education, through a regular and weekly lectures program given by professors of the above mentioned academic institution at the biginning of the first half of the programs.
From October 27 to February 2, participants were provided with 2 hours lectures every week.
For the first time, five of us accepted an invitation to lecture at the OSIPP on aspect related to our countries. We were from Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Iraq and Kenya.
The final assessment consisted in two given options, namely the speech and the exhibition.
We demonstrated our communication skills in Japanese languages through speech and exhibition. Each of us choose one of the two options and introduced his/her country in Japanese Language and answered the questions presented by the guests and the teachers.
The 2017-2018 DLGL programs were a very good experience helped us understanding Japanese life and culture. The comfortable and objective accommodation facilities at the Institute played were deeply appreciated.
The whole process of learning was only achieved with the important role played, as naturally, by the Sensei's(teachers) who were very patient and kind with us, the institute administrative staff and the local organizations.
Certainly, the eight months programs made us parts of Japan and we now consider ourselves ambassadors of Japan in our countries.
Domingos Luis da Silva, Legal Department
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Angola
Special thanks to
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Ministry of Finance of Japan
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)
Osaka School of International Public Policy Osaka University
Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau
Tajiri Elementary School
Mukogawa Women's University
National Museum of Ethnology
Kuboso Memorial Museum of Arts, Izumi
Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution
Soroptimist International of Osaka, Izumi
International Science Club of Osaka
HAKUTSURU SAKE Brewing Co., Ltd
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation
The Japanese Classical Dance Association Inc.
Ms. Mikiko NAKANO (koto and shamisen player)
Participants Support Council
and many other individuals and groups