On May 14, 2012 (Monday), the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) of the Embassy of Japan held a Pre-Departure Orientation for the last batch of Philippine-Tohoku Goodwill Ambassadors under the Japan East-Asia Network for Students and Youths (JENESYS) Programme. The said batch is composed of 100 participants, and is the last group to depart for Japan on May 15 (Tuesday), and will return to the Philippines on May 23 (Wednesday). Minister Keizo Takewaka, Head of the Political Section of the Embassy of Japan, delivered an inspiring speech for the 100 Philippine-Tohoku Goodwill Ambassadors.
The Philippine-Tohoku Goodwill Ambassadors will learn about Japan's recovery efforts, disaster risk management and the concept of a “greener environment”, as well as foster cultural appreciation and mutual understanding between Japan and the Philippines. The said programme was agreed upon in a joint statement by both the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines on September 27, 2011, with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda stating that Japan will invite 400 Filipino college students to Japan this year as “Philippine-Tohoku Goodwill Ambassadors.”
The pre-departure orientation endeavors to equip the Philippine-Tohoku Goodwill Ambassadors with basic information about Japan, to aid them during their nine-day stay. For the duration of the programme, participants will personally witness Japan's rapid recovery efforts in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck Japan's Tohoku region on March 11, 2011. They will also interact with Japanese youth from educational institutions and foster family whom they will be staying with under the homestay scheme. A total of 400 students have been chosen to participate as Philippine-Tohoku Goodwill Ambassadors.
The first, second and third batches of 100 Philippine-Tohoku Goodwill Ambassadors already departed for Japan last April 10 (Tuesday), April 17 (Tuesday), and May 8 (Tuesday) respectively. Both the first and second batches are under the theme, JENESYS - “Go Green” , while the third and fourth batches are under the theme, JENESYS - “Japan's Disaster Management and Recovery Efforts After 3.11” .
The JENESYS Programme is organized by The Government of Japan through the Japan Information and Culture Center (JICC) of the Embassy of Japan as well as the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE), in close cooperation with the National Youth Commission (NYC) of the Republic of the Philippines.