AJET November Opinion Exchanges with CLAIR, MIC, MOFA and JET Alumni

 Opinion Exchanges with CLAIR
November Opinion Exchange

Earlier this month (10th and 11th November), members of the AJET council travelled to Tokyo for its second bi-annual opinion exchange with representatives of CLAIR, MIC and MOFA.

Working to ensure that the voice of JETs is heard by the sponsors of the JET Programme (CLAIR, MOFA, MIC and MEXT) is one of AJET’s most important functions. The twice-yearly opinion exchanges are a great opportunity for AJET to represent the views and concerns of JET participants to the programme’s sponsoring government agencies.

2015 Second AJET Opinion Exchange Meeting

AJET Fall Report – “Use of Office Down Time”

The second AJET Opinion Exchange began with a preview of the findings of our Fall Survey, “Use of Office Down Time”. According to the preliminary results of the survey, a great deal of JET Programme participants experience down time in their jobs.

The full report is due to be released later this month. However, based on our initial findings we discussed the issue together as well as potential ways that both CLAIR and AJET can provide JETs with advice and ideas about how they can effectively use their downtime. We hope that the full report will prompt further discussion, and possible solutions, once it is published.

Seminar for Globalization

Next, representatives from MIC showcased their recent Seminar for Globalisation with JETs which took place last month (7th-9th October) in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture. This experiment in grassroots globalisation was attended by JETs from Ishikawa Prefecture, JET participants from Honshu and Hokkaido, and AJET’s Chair, Sterling Diesel. The approach had a strong emphasis on increasing community involvement and tourism.


In the final section of the meeting, AJET had the opportunity to ask questions about issues affecting the JET community.

Question 1: How do you feel the 2015 Post-Arrival Orientation went? What kind of feedback did you receive from new JET participants?

Based on feedback collected by CLAIR, many of this year’s incoming JETs found Post-Arrival Orientation useful. However, depending on the country the incoming JETs are from, a number reported overlap with the material that was covered in their pre-departure orientation in their home countries.

CLAIR is looking to address this issue ahead of next year’s orientations.

Question 3: Would you consider allowing to AJET to give a short presentation at Tokyo Orientation 2016?

Due to time constraints, AJET might not be able to give a formal presentation. However, AJET’s further collaborations at Post-Arrival Orientation will be considered, when deciding the specifics of next year’s orientation schedule..

In the past, AJET representatives gave presentations at Post-Arrival Orientation. This year, CLAIR kindly invited representatives from AJET to attend the Welcome Reception and mingle with the new arrivals. AJET hopes to attend in a similar capacity next year.

AJET will have further discussions with CLAIR about our presence at next year’s Post-Arrival Orientations as the event draws closer.

Question 5: What can you tell us about the Opinion Exchange you held in October with JETs from outside of English-speaking countries?

Last month, CLAIR held an Opinion Exchange with JETs from non-English-speaking countries to evaluate and compare their experiences on the JET Programme with that of participants from English-speaking ones.

Some participants brought up the fact that content from CLAIR’s Translation and Interpretation Course overlapped with what was covered at the CIR Mid-year Conference.

As with the Pre-Departure and Post-Arrival Orientations, CLAIR aims to coordinate more effectively with the organisers of these seminars and limit repetition of information.

AJET is looking to support JETs from outside of English-speaking countries by expanding our non-English language material following a full review and revision of our current resources.

Question 6: What measures is CLAIR taking to ensure a smooth transition for JETs in new positions as CLAIR and the three ministries work together to achieve their goal of increasing the total number of JETs to 6,000 by 2020?

JET participants who attended Post-Arrival Orientation in April or Group C Post-Arrival Orientation were not able to receive the same training as those in Group A or B. One aspect of Pre-departure Orientations that CLAIR and the three ministries are working to improve is providing April arrivals and Group C with two days of conferences, like Group A and B, rather than one.

JET Alumni & AJET Opinion Exchange Meeting

This most recent opinion exchange also saw AJET watch presentations from the 2019 Rugby World Cup, The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as participating in an Opinion Exchange with JET Alumni taking part in the JET Programme Alumni Satogaeri Project.

Working in small groups, AJET representatives and JET alumni discussed two topics – career support and staying in touch with Japan post JET. These focused discussions helped our two organisations better understand how we can work together to ensure that JETs continue to benefit from their time on the programme even after it has finished.

The AJET council representatives in attendance, Sterling Diesel (Chair), Daniel Brooks (Vice-Chair), Ryan Hata (Director of Alumni Resources), Ashleigh O’Neill (Director of Alumni Relations), Zachary Krause (Project Manager) and Jennifer Edwards (Director of Public Relations) would like to thank CLAIR for inviting us to what was an enjoyable and fruitful two days.