img_4730On 7 November, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Sports, Culture, Science, and Technology, and CLAIR hosted the JET Programme 30th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony at the Keio Plaza Hotel (Shinjuku) in the presence of their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan.

Around 720 current and former JET Programme participants, local government staff, and members of other related parties attended the ceremony. With so many contributors to the JET Programme in attendance, the ceremony served as an opportunity for the JET community to reflect on the programme’s 30 year history and its many contributions to society.

In his opening address, Chair of the Board of Directors at CLAIR, Mr. Tamotsu Okamoto, stated ‘JET Programme participants have formed strong ties with people in regions all over Japan, and performed a vital role in supporting the country. After their time on the programme comes to an end, many continue to work as bridges between Japan and the rest of the world, putting their experiences to use in various fields in their own countries, from government agencies to Japanese companies… This milestone marks the beginning of a new chapter and we strive to contribute to a better future for Japan and the rest of the world’.

As a first ever endeavour to make the voices of the key players in the Programme’s success, the JET alumni and current JET participants, made known to the whole world, a “JET Declaration” was also presented at the ceremony. The Declaration sought to reflect on the success of the Programme over its 30 years as well as project a vision for its future.

Ryan Hata (National AJET), representing current JET participants, and Kwon Joohyun (JETAA South Korea), representing the JET alumni community, presented the declaration at the ceremony, saying ‘As more and more Japanese companies look to expand their reach globally and adopt an international approach, it is more important than ever that JETs do their best to prepare their students and colleagues for a more multicultural Japan. We hope to continue working with the Japanese government to further improve the ability of current and former JETs to support Japan’s efforts, thus strengthening the country’s capacity to engage effectively with the rest of the world’.

CLAIR plans to report the results of the commemorative ceremony, JET Arigato Campaign, JET Video Contest, and other 30th Anniversary related projects in detail on our website soon.