On July 23rd, one hundred and fifty new Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program participants from Southern California and Arizona departed for Japan from LAX.
The Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles hosted a Pre-Departure Orientation and Send-Off Dinner Reception in honor of the 2016-2017 participants on the eve of departure. At the reception, participants were joined by representatives from the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), the Japanese Prefectural Association of Southern California, the Japan-related community, and members of the JET Alumni Association of Southern California and Arizona (JETAASC) that have helped with this year’s departing group. Consul Mayu Hagiwara, Director of the Japan Information and Culture Center, applauded the 145 Assistant Language Teachers (ALT) and 5 Coordinators for International Relations (CIR) while highlighting the importance of their role in Japan. Ms. Kelley Rich, Co-President of JETAASC, and Mr. Brandon Butler, a 2016 JET Program Participant, followed with words of encouragement for the new adventure participants were about to embark on. Mr. George Mori, President of the Japanese Prefectural Association of Southern California, concluded by encouraging JETs to stay connected with Japan upon their return home from the program before a toast to celebrate the new JETs.
This year, the JET Program celebrates its 30th anniversary and welcomes 1,946 new participants for a total of 4,592 participants from 40 countries. During their time in Japan, participants help promote foreign language education and internationalization in local communities across the country.
The application period for the JET Program is October and November each year. For more information about the program and application process, please visit www.jetprogramusa.org.