In late March, 2017, the Japan-America Society of Hawaii welcomed a delegation of 15 students and 3 chaperones who visited Honolulu as a part of this year’s Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention’s (APCC) Mission Project program. The 15 students from Fukuoka, Japan experienced Hawaii’s unique culture first-hand through their brief, but fun-filled five-day stay in Hawaii. Each Japanese student stayed with a volunteer host family coordinated through JASH.
Upon their arrival, host families, Bridge Club Hawaii (BCH) members, Hawaii English Language Program (HELP) volunteers, and JASH staff greeted the students and escorted them to the Airport Conference Center where delegates participated in several activities orchestrated by Bridge Club Hawaii. The Bridge Club icebreaker games for the host families and the Japanese delegates. After their games, the Welcome Ceremony was held with speeches by the chaperones of the Japanese delegation, JASH staff, and the honorable Consul General of Japan in Honolulu, Mr. Yasushi Misawa. Following welcome speeches, the delegates and host families shared lunch and departed for their homestays.
During their stay, the delegates were able to experience Hawaii’s local culture, visit Hawaii’s beautiful beaches, and participate in many other fun activities that the island had to offer. Students also had the opportunity to visit their host friend’s school, where they got to shadow their friend in the daily life of a student from Hawaii. JASH would like to thank all of the principals, hosting schools, and teachers who opened their classrooms up to the Japanese students.
The Mission Project Program was established in 1994 by the APCC in Fukuoka with the goal to enhance Japanese children’s understanding of their Asian-Pacific neighbors by learning about their lifestyles, cultures, and customs through first-hand experiences. They do this by sending delegates to various Asian-Pacific countries. The Japan-America Society of Hawaii is honored to have hosted the Mission Project for the sixth time. In addition to Hawaii, eight other Mission Project destinations were chosen to host the program this year: Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Korea, Maldives, Nepal, Palau, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan.
JASH’s hope is that the Mission Project delegates got a good taste of the life and culture of Hawaii and that their experiences contribute to a better understanding of the U.S.-Japan relationship. We also hope that each of the host families and Japanese delegates continue to build upon their newly forged friendships.
JASH would like to extend a warm “mahalo” to the 15 host families who gave the Japanese delegates the opportunity for an international exchange program. This program would not have been possible without their support and generosity. JASH would also like to thank the Consul General of Japan in Honolulu, Mr. Yasushi Misawa and his wife Mrs. Yoko Misawa for their attendance at the welcome ceremony and all the volunteers who helped make this program a success.