MIRAI Program 2017/2018

Following the two groups of altogether 150 university graduate and post-graduate students who visited Japan respectively in September and December 2017, a third group, this time of 20 young professionals took part in the third leg of the MIRAI Program 2017/2018 in March 2018. Coming from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine, these young people work in Europe at Ministries, diplomatic missions, municipalities, etc.

“MIRAI” is the Japanese word for future. The programme is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (European Policy Division) and was this year implemented in Japan by JTB Corporate Sales. As its European implementer, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the third year running had contracted EFIL.  Under the MIRAI Program young people are given the opportunity to explore Japan for a week. The main objectives of MIRAI are to promote mutual understandings, to enhance intellectual discussions and to build strong networks among future leaders of Japan and the world.

During the week-long stay in Japan the participants had the opportunity to learn about Japanese history and current affairs, and experience Japanese culture. These intercultural opportunities took place in Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kyoto, so the participants got to see many sides of the country. They experienced traveling on Japan’s famous Shinkansen bullet train. There were visits to museums, impressive temples, famous shrines, including Golden Pavilion Temple and Kodai-ji Temple in Kyoto, the Miyajima Istukushima Shrine and the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima. In Hiroshima participants attended a lecture by Hibakusha, and atomic bomb victim. In Tokyo visits to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry were included, as well as the Riken Center for Advanced Intelligence Project and a meeting with the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

During the week long visit participants were encouraged to share their impressions and experiences on the blog and the MIRAI Facebook page as well as on Twitter and Instagram.