Delegates of the JETAA International Conference held in Tokyo (October, 2011) made a courtesy call to Senior Vice Minister Yamane of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The purpose of the visit was to thank MOFA for continuing to support JETAA and the JET Program while also informing them of the relief efforts JET alums are partaking in to support Japan. The JETAA USA Earthquake Fund was among the topics of discussion.
JET Alumni Association (JETAA) International Delegates Meet
with Senior Vice Minister Yamane
- On October 21st, Senior Vice Minister Ryuji Yamane met with James Gannon, advisor to JETAA, and Shree Kurlekar, who is the Executive Chair of JETAAi, along with 15 other JETAA members.
- Senior Vice Minister Yamane welcomed the JETAA members to Japan for the conference and expressed his deep gratitude to JETAA and all its individual chapters for being so proactively engaged in the recovery efforts after the Tohoku disaster. Along with acknowledging JETAA’s recovery efforts, he urged JETAA chapters to share the positive progression of Japan’s recovery to its local communities.
- The JETAA delegates conveyed their gratitude to the Japanese government for their continued support of the JET program and JETAA. They also expressed their determination to continue aiding in the Tohoku relief efforts.
- JETAA was launched on a complete volunteer basis by former JET Program participants in 1989 and has since established itself in multiple countries and regions. Each JETAA chapter works to promote friendly ties between Japan and its home country. After the Tohoku disaster, JETAA stepped up to take on a new role of aiding Japan in its recovery efforts. As of July 2011, JETAA consists of 51 chapters worldwide with approximately 55,000 members.
- JETAA International has hosted an International Conference each year (Kingston, Jamaica in 2009 and Edinburgh, Scotland in 2010). These conferences focus on strengthening the network amongst the JETAA chapters around the world.
- This year, being the 25th anniversary of the JET Program and the year of the Tohoku disaster, the International Conference was held in Tokyo on October 21st and 22nd. The items discussed at the conference were JETAA’s contributions towards Japan’s recovery, sharing specific examples of their efforts, and ideas on improving the JET Program. JETAA representatives from 10 countries including the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, France, Jamaica, England, Canada, Ireland and South Africa were in attendance along with JETAA International Executive Officers totaling 16 JETAA members.
- On October 23rd, the JETAA International delegates visited Rikuzentakata City, where the late Montgomery Dickson taught as an ALT on the JET Program. Delegates spent the day volunteering with debris clean-up and met with Rikuzentakata Mayor Toba. JETAA USA will donate funds raised by US chapters to Rikuzentakata City and other various projects which support education and rebuilding of the disaster struck areas. This “JETAA USA Relief Fund” garnered a total of $76,000 US dollars (about 5,800,000 yen).