Ambassador Caroline Kennedy participated in the 27th plenary meeting of the United States-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON) today in Tokyo. During the program, Ambassador Kennedy accepted an invitation to serve as an honorary member of CULCON. She lauded the binational organization for its leadership in promoting educational exchange between the United States and Japan. “Together we are creating more opportunities for students on both sides of the Pacific,” Ambassador Kennedy said.
In addition, Ambassador Kennedy announced a new video collaboration with Japanese alumni of U.S. colleges and universities. “A Broader View” showcases the inspirational stories of Japanese role models who studied in the United States. Ambassador Kennedy screened a preview of the project to CULCON members and later released the link to that video. The Embassy plans to launch the website for “A Broader View” later this year, Ambassador Kennedy said. Participants include Nobel Laureate Satoshi Omura, Otsu Mayor Naomi Koshi, Okayama Governor Ryuta Ibaragi, and Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani.
Ambassador Kennedy also praised a new initiative by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) to encourage students of both countries to combine internships with study abroad. According to an announcement on the ACCJ’s website, several ACCJ member companies will establish a pilot internship program for students in Japan. “The ACCJ’s internship program will reward students who studied in the United States with professional development opportunities in Japan,” Ambassador Kennedy said. “And the companies will benefit from Japanese students who have the language and cultural skills needed for today’s global economy. It’s a win-win for both the students and the companies.”
A binational advisory panel to both governments, CULCON serves to focus official and public attention in both the United States and Japan on the vital cultural and educational underpinnings of the binational relationship. CULCON originated in a series of discussions between President Kennedy and Prime Minister Ikeda in 1961. For more information, please see CULCON’s website.