JETs fresh from the U.S. eager to help nation recover from March 11

by Takahiro Fukada

Staff Writer

Young Americans who will teach English at schools here on an international exchange and teaching program said Tuesday they want to help Japan recover from the March catastrophe.

According to the U.S. Embassy and an organizer of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, around 700 are coming from the U.S. this summer. About 400 of them arrived Sunday.

In total, some 1,600 JETs from 27 nations will come to Japan this summer.

Many of the young Americans attended an orientation session held by the U.S. Embassy at a Tokyo hotel Tuesday evening.

Asked whether she was afraid of any natural calamity and the nuclear disaster, Anni Pullagura, 23, from Georgia said “no, not at all.”

This is the best time to show that Americans support the Japanese people, she said after attending the session.

Meghan Koester, 23, from the state of Washington, also said she isn’t scared.

“I’m very excited to help Japan recover from this,” she said. “The world recognizes Japan’s efforts for recovery and we really support it. We want to help.”

During the orientation, U.S. Ambassador John Roos welcomed and thanked the new teachers for coming to Japan and representing their home country “at really, a very incredible, important time.”

He stressed the importance of enhancing grassroots relations between the two nations.

“Each of you going out in all of the different areas of Japan will continue to work with the Japanese as they continue to confront the aftermath of March 11,” Roos said. “So, your role is particularly important at this time.”