On Monday, December 7, 2015, JASH helped to organize ten students from Gladys Nakahara’s Fourth-year Japanese for Advanced Speakers course at the University of Hawaii at Manoa to meet with six high school and university students from Nagaoka, Japan who were in Honolulu to participate in a Peace Exchange Program. The 17 students spent the afternoon at the East West Center’s Burns Hall enjoying a bento lunch and getting to know each other. Lots of conversation in both English and Japanese was heard throughout the meeting.
Director of External Affairs at the East West Center, Karen Knudsen, shared information with everyone about the East West Center and its role in world politics. Following lunch, the Japanese students shared a presentation about how to foster world peace. The twenty minute presentation was inspiring and prompted a lot of discussion and reflections from the UH students and former JASH President Ed Hawkins, and President Lenny Yajima.
In addition to the visit at UH, the Japanese students had an intense itinerary while in Honolulu for four days. They spent time at various Pearl Harbor sites: USS Missouri, Pacific Aviation Museum and the Arizona Memorial. They were also able to attend the Pearl Harbor Memorial Ceremony on December 7 before visiting UH. The group also paid tribute to those who have passed at the Ehime Maru Memorial and Punchbowl Cemetery. They also had a chance to visit Punahou School, where they met with the eight Peace Ambassadors who had traveled to Nagaoka this past summer. The eight students from Punahou School and St. Louis School shared their life changing experiences in Nagoaka from this past summer.