TOKYO, 7 March 2019 – University students from ASEAN, Timor Leste, and Japan deepened their understanding on sustainable development during the week-long Japan-ASEAN Students Conference in Tokyo and Miyagi, Japan from 19 to 25 February

A total of 144 students deliberated on agriculture, energy, community designing, health, gender, and elderly employment under the theme “What can the Youth in Asian countries do in realising a Sustainable World?”

The students attended expert lectures and had observational visits and interactive sessions with officials of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. They also participated in facilitated discussions and presentations by the ASEAN Secretariat.

Throughout the conference, the students were able to identify ways to address gender inequality in political participation and economic empowerment; look into positive approaches and possible ways to encourage behaviour and social changes in the community; and learn from Japan’s experiences in disaster risk reduction and how community members could be involved in disaster preparedness and recovery.

The programme provided an avenue for students to network and exchange views on issues which are related to their academic backgrounds and relevant with the United Nations 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals. Other activities included visits to Edo-Tokyo Museum, the University of Tokyo, and Tokyo Metropolitan City.

The conference was organised as part of the 2018 Japan East-Asia Network of Exchange Programme for Students and Youth (JENESYS2018). Since its inception in 2007, JENESYS has contributed to enhancing people-to-people interaction, intercultural awareness and mutual understanding among the youth of ASEAN and Japan.