A team from the Maldives traveled to Japan last month under the JENESYS program.
Japan Friendship Ties Programs JENESYS is a people-to-people exchange program, an initiative by Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted in collaboration with JICE. The program aims to foster interest in Japan among students and youth to study and work in Japan.
The JENESYS 2022 SAARC batch 2 traveled to Japan from February 21 to 28. The theme for this batch was 'energy'. Ten youth from each participating SAARC country was invited to take part in the program. The Maldives team consisted of six youths working in the energy sector employed in the public sector and four students from local colleges and universities.
The program schedule comprised of theme-related lectures and site visits such as the visit to the Eco Museum, Electricity Museum, and a solar farm. Other activities of the program included activities to learn about Japanese history, culture, arts, and lifestyle. The participants visited Nagoya Castle, Osu Shopping District, and also took part in a Cloisonne art workshop.
Some common observations of Japan that were appreciated by the participants was the priority given by the Japanese people for cleanliness, the politeness and helpfulness of the locals, and their respectfulness and mindfulness of other peoples' comfort. The participants described Japan as a unique country with distinctive behavior, architecture, pop culture, art, food, and lifestyle.
Japan has a lot of good universities and has a Japanese government-funded scholarship called the JDS scholarship that Maldivians are eligible to apply to. Some Japanese companies also offer work opportunities to graduates who complete their studies at Japanese universities. The participants met with some of the scholars on the JDS scholarship during the program.
For the program's closing ceremony, participants presented their action plans and findings of the people-to-people exchange program to the Japanese government officials and the ambassadors and government officials of SAARC countries.