The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on Friday thanked this year’s outgoing participants of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program and designated the 1,450 young adults as “honorary ambassadors,” asking them to continue fostering good relations between Japan and their home countries after leaving the program.
Minister Yoshitaka Shindo met with a delegation of four JET participants who will soon finish their tenure, including three-year Yamanashi Prefecture employee Aimee Wenyue Chen of California, and hand-delivered a letter honoring the program’s newest alumni.
The minister also expressed interest in improving the JET program.
“I would like to see support given to those who are completing the program in finding jobs in Japan and encourage those returning to their home countries to stay actively involved with the community of former JET participants,” Shindo said.
The participants work anywhere from one to five years for municipal governments throughout Japan, mostly as assistant language teachers, with a smaller number acting as coordinators for international relations or as sports exchange advisers.
The program’s participants in 2014 — including both new recruits and those who are extending their contracts — numbered 4,476 and represented 42 different countries.