Kizuna Project: The Youth Exchange Project with Asia-Oceania and North America

A Long-Term Invitation Program for University Students and Others from the ASEAN Countries and Four Other Countries

After the success of the JENESYS Programme, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Japan has launched the Youth-Exchange Project with Asia-Oceania and North America, or the KIZUNA Project. The Kizuna Project, the word kizuna meaning “bonds”, will invite approximately 9,000 youths from the Asian/Oceanian regions to have an opportunity to participate in specially designed programs.  For the ASEAN 10 countries, 2,550 youths from ASEAN Member States (AMS) will be invited to Japan, and 255 Japanese youths will in turn visit the AMS. The project was approved by the Japanese Diet as a part of the third supplementary budget in November 1, and will be implemented by the end of March 2013.

During the official visit of Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario to Japan from June 27 to 29, 2012, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba conveyed to him that 285 Filipino youths will be invited to Japan as part of the Kizuna Project.

One of the programs under the Kizuna Project is the “Long-Term Invitation Program for University Students and Others from the ASEAN Countries and Four Other Countries”. Four (4) students from each of the participating countries, namely the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, and East Timor, will be chosen to join the program. A total of 56 university or graduate school students will participate in the four (4) courses offered under this Kizuna Project. From the Philippines, one (1) student will be chosen for each of the courses.

The “Long-Term Invitation Program for University Students and Others from the ASEAN Countries and Four Other Countries” is part of the Japanese reconstruction plans and aims at promoting global understanding of Japan’s revival efforts in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011.  The project will allow the participants to understand and experience first-hand the ongoing reconstruction efforts and recovery initiatives at disaster sites.  The program includes interaction with youth in disaster-affected areas, participation in recovery support activities, and other projects.

It is the hope of the Kizuna Project for the invited youth to relay the current status of Japan’s reconstruction efforts to the people of their respective countries through report presentations and other means of communicating their experience in the disaster-affected areas after returning to their home countries.

The Kizuna Project is divided into four categories:

  1. Field Work Program: Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Revitalization in the Region (Iwate Prefecture)
    1. i.      Duration: September 9, 2012 – December 18, 2012
    2. ii.     Overview: The participants will be involved in “Hometown Regeneration Support” in Tono, Iwate Prefecture and the earthquake recovery programs in which JOCA is engaged in the coastal areas of Iwate Prefecture, while experiencing hands-on study of local recovery efforts.
  1. Field Work Program: Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Industrial Restoration (Miyagi Prefecture)
    1. i.      Duration: September 9, 2012 – December 18, 2012
    2. ii.      Overview: The participants will be involved in the earthquake recovery program in which JOCA is engaged with in Miyagi Prefecture, while participating in earthquake recovery programs undertaken by the government, private businesses, private organizations, and all manner of groups, and experience hands-on study of recovery and industrial restoration efforts.
  1. Study Program + Field Work Program: Human Resource Development for Peacebuilding and Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Industrial Restoration (Hiroshima Prefecture)
    1. i.      Duration: September 2, 2012 – February 10, 2013
    2. ii.      Overview: Within Hiroshima, which has launched the “Hiroshima for Global Peace” Plan, the participants will experience hands-on study of the human resource development and international contribution initiatives carried out by local governments, universities, and private organizations, with universities in the city of Hiroshima as the center of operations.
  1. Study Program + Field Work Program: Short-Term Study University Program to Learn Reconstruction Efforts after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Industrial Restoration
    1. i.      Duration: September 2, 2012 – February 10, 2013
    2. ii.      Overview: The participants will attend lectures in each subject at the designated universities. They will participate in disaster site reconstruction support programs implemented by Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE).

Please refer to the corresponding links for more detailed information on the individual course programs under the Kizuna Project.

Guidelines for application, as well as the applications forms, may be downloaded from the Embassy of Japan website, under the Kizuna Project of the Culture and Education section. (http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/culture/index.htm).

Deadline for application for the Kizuna Project is on July 20, 2012 (Friday).

For more information, visit or call:

Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC)

Embassy of Japan

2627 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City 1300

Tel #: (02) 551-5710 local 2313 and 2317


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