Foreign English Teachers who taught in Japan on the JET Programme Return to their “Home-away-from-Home” on the Satogaeri Project

Tokyo, Japan – From 9th – 13th November this year, the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) will be launching the Satogaeri Project (Satogaeri means “to return home” in Japanese). This project will bring 12 alumni of one of the largest and most successful international exchange programmes in the world, the JET Programme, back to Japan to reconnect with their old friends and colleagues, in celebration of the upcoming 30th Anniversary of the Programme.

The Satogaeri Project will see the 12 JET Programme alumni from 11 different countries visit their old placements in Hokkaido, Aomori, Niigata, Gunma, Nagano, Wakayama, Okayama, Shimane, Kagawa, Kumamoto and Miyazaki. Among the participants is Fiona Uyema, a celebrity chef from Ireland specialising in Japanese cuisine, whose lifelong passion for Japanese cooking began when she was on the JET Programme in Niigata. Participants were selected based on their strength of their Satogaeri Project plans and will be engaging in all manner of grass-roots exchange activities from sake brewery tours, to cookouts. Before leaving for their old homes in Japan, participants will take part in the JET Alumni Global Forum in Tokyo alongside the Ministry of International Communications (MIC), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) where they will discuss international cooperation for the 2020 Olympic Games/2019 Rugby World Cup and international plans to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the JET Programme in 2016.

Masahiro Fukukawa, Executive Consultant at CLAIR said “I am absolutely delighted to be welcoming back 12 JET alumni to Japan. Be it in classrooms or on school fields, in government offices or at community events, JET Programme participants have been making profound contributions to the grass roots internationalisation of Japan for the last 29 years. But the significance of the JET Programme lies not only in the efforts of JETs during their time here but in the way it starts a lifelong kizuna or “bond” with Japan in so many of its participants. This Satogaeri Project will showcase this enduring bond as it brings back to Japan JET alumni, some of whom came to Japan for the first time on the JET Programme as long as 20 years ago.”

Find out more about the JET Programme at and keep up with the latest news about the JET Satogaeri Project through our social media channels:

Twitter: @JET_Satogaeri
For more information contact: Luke D.K. Happle TEL: 03-5213-1722 EMAIL:
Programme Coordinator (PC), Planning and Research Division, Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Notes to Editors
The JET Programme was started in 1987 and is currently administered by CLAIR alongside MIC, MOFA and MEXT. Participants on the programme work at either schools or local government offices and have been playing a key role in local internationalisation efforts for 29 years. Over its history, the programme has welcomed over 62,000 people to Japan from 65 countries.

The Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) was founded as a joint organisation of Japanese local governments. Its mission is to provide support to local governments in Japan that are engaging in international exchange activities. CLAIR’s most high-profile initiative is the JET Programme, but it also implements training for Japanese and overseas local government officials, provides information about sister-city relationships, offers multiculturalism support, and provides financial assistance for local governments seeking to promote their interest abroad.