Young Ethiopia envoy brings new ideas, energy

| Aug 5, 2013

Young Ethiopia envoy brings new ideas, energy

Ethiopian Ambassador Markos Tekle Rike, 34, says he has always felt a special connection between his country and Japan, although he did not have any personal interest in this country before he arrived here 2½ years ago. Japanese products and ways of thinking, he ...

Bangladesh envoy calls for closer economic, cultural ties

Jul 9, 2013

Bangladesh envoy calls for closer economic, cultural ties

While Bangladesh remains grateful to Japan for its continued support over the last four decades as a leading development partner since its 1971 independence from Pakistan, the two countries can further strengthen ties both economically and culturally, said Masud Bin Momen, Dhaka’s ambassador to ...

Finnish diplomat pushes child-rearing for dads

| Jun 18, 2013

Finnish diplomat pushes child-rearing for dads

For Finnish diplomat Mikko Koivumaa, being an ikumen (men who take an active role in ikuji, or child rearing) comes naturally. Hailing from a country known to have a high level of gender equality, Koivumaa says ikumen is standard practice in Finland. “In Finland, ...

Jun 1, 2013

ASIJ student helping women rebuild community

Sophia Slater, 17, felt she couldn’t just sit back and do nothing when the monster earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. So she tried to find a way a teenager like her could help, apart from giving money or donating ...

Africa fair spices up TICAD venue

May 31, 2013

Africa fair spices up TICAD venue

Garments and baskets woven in bright colors, spicy cuisine and energetic music played on traditional instruments are livening up the vast Pacifico Yokohama convention center in Yokohama. As a side event to the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, African Fair 2013 started ...

Czech promoter sings way to cultural identity

| May 14, 2013

Czech promoter sings way to cultural identity

For singer Eva Miklas Takamine, who also has been head of the Czech Center in Tokyo since March, singing both Czech and Japanese songs is a way of expressing her identity. The Czech-born Miklas, 52, who began her career as a professional singer only ...

'Chocolate project' teaches kids volunteerism

May 2, 2013

'Chocolate project' teaches kids volunteerism

Most Japanese teens have little exposure to issues of worldwide poverty or the volunteerism that seeks to end it. Unlike in the United States and Europe, where youths are introduced to volunteerism at a fairly young age, children here rarely have the opportunity to ...