TOKYO, 04 April 2019 More than a hundred youth leaders from ASEAN and Timor-Leste gathered in Tokyo to learn from Japan’s experience and expertise in utilising technology to address and solve the region’s issues.

The participants were grouped based on their educational background to learn about food tourism, disaster prevention, history of manufacturing, as well as historical heritage. The cities of Hokkaido, Tohoku, Chubu, and Kansai each hosted one group of participants and shared Japan’s experience in one of the four highlighted issues. The students also attended a briefing by ASEAN Secretariat on  ASEAN’s efforts in realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

Through expert lectures, institutional visits and interactive sessions, the students learned about Japan’s ethos and policies on disaster prevention, which included a visit to the Tokyo Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park to obtain hands-on experience in Japan’s technological advancements in disaster management. The concept of “Antenna Shops” in Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan was highlighted where specialties and delicacies from different regions of Japan were sold under one place. The students also visited Miraikan, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation of Japan, where they learned more about Japan’s technologies and domestic industries. Furthermore, Japan’s efforts to preserve cultural assets, cultural heritage, and natural treasures were showcased through experiential activities.

Based on the newly acquired knowledge and findings, the students were tasked to develop plans of action on what they wish to apply in their respective home countries. They were further encouraged to share their plans with Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant parties.

ASEAN + Timor-Leste Youth Leader Exchange is organised as part of the 2018 Japan East-Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths (JENESYS2018). Since its inception in 2007, JENESYS has contributed to enhancing people-to-people interaction, cultural awareness and mutual understanding among the youth of ASEAN and Japan.