MINAMI AWAJI, 10 December 2019 – More than a hundred students from ASEAN and Timor-Leste gathered in Kobe and Minami Awaji, Japan to participate in a Movie and Art Exchange Programme.

The activity, which took place from 2 – 9 December, is part of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth (JENESYS) 2019 Programme.

Leading up to the Year of ASEAN Identity 2020, the programme enables ASEAN youth to better understand and appreciate the ASEAN Community. Participants were introduced to ASEAN’s ongoing work in the areas of youth development, and culture and arts, which are outlined in the ASEAN Work Plan on Youth 2016-2020 and the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Culture and Arts 2016-2025, respectively.

Participants also discussed how to foster an ASEAN identity among the ASEAN youth. They suggested that cultural festivals, engaging social media influencers and bloggers, producing films on ASEAN, and ASEAN e-sports competitions can make ASEAN more relevant to the young people of the region.

The 13th Asian International Children’s Film Festival was organised in conjunction with the JENESYS 2019 programme on 4 December and held at the Minami Awaji island. The film festival featured a short film competition addressing key issues in youth development, such as crime, bullying, delinquency, as well as youth unemployment, education and training. Youth from Chinese Taipei, Mongolia, People’s Republic of China and Republic of Korea also attended the festival.

The JENESYS 2019 programme included visits to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Kansai Office, Kitano Ijinkan-Gai, and the Minami Awaji Central Public Hall. Participants also visited junior high schools and interacted with Japanese students. JICA held a lecture at their Kansai office to help students learn about their regional activities in the area of disaster management, such as the provision of emergency support, infrastructure development and water management. At the Minami Awaji Central Public Hall, participants met Mayor Norihiro Morimoto who commended the JENESYS programme’s success in promoting mutual understanding between ASEAN and Japan through cultural exchange.

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.

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