Spring 2012 General Activities Report; Discussion Summary

This is the summary of the Spring 2012 Opinion Exchange Meeting between AJET, the Council for Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). The following is a summary of the discussion regarding the report, “General Activities Report.” AJET’s questions are in italics, followed by summaries of the responses. To access the full report, click here.

Spring 2012 General Activities Report
Written by Matthew Cook, Cailin Arena, Theodore Genba Bigby, Rob Maxwell, Lisa Marie Cross, Kevin Mitchell, and Bryan Darr
Presented and Interpreted by Allison Yoneyama

Prior to this discussion, AJET introduced its advances in the technological projects for the year, focusing on the website, AJET Connect and the new iDevice app. In response to CLAIR’s inquiry regarding the use of this new app service, AJET explained that there have been many downloads in several countries for the iPhone app, and that an Android version of the app will be available in the following weeks. AJET then outlined its JET Programme Awards proposal, written by AJET and JETAA International as well as the US JET Programme coordinators from Colorado and Chicago. You can read the proposal here.

AJET: In summary, these awards would reinforce the JET Programme’s mission and goals. An awards program like this would be a very easy way to recognize the accomplishments of the JET community and at the same time encourage JETs to continue in this path. AJET sincerely hope to have your support with this endeavor to spotlight these projects and achievements of JETs and to show the world how effective and relevant the JET Programme is.

MIC, MOFA, and MEXT understood the importance of recognizing the special achievements of JET Programme participants in their communities. However, the ministries acknowledged that at this stage in the proposal, it is difficult to comment on how the awards would be determined and executed. Additionally, CLAIR and the ministries expressed concerned with selection criteria, identifying candidates, and other budget conditions. CLAIR inquired about the existing AJET annual award program, which should already raise JET participants’ motivation for community involvement and achievement.

AJET: Thank you very much for the consideration. Regarding the AJET awards, last year the awards program was not continued, and this year, AJET have held off on the awards program because of the rebranding. The reason that it has been in decline in the past few years was because there was not a platform to be able to truly promote this type of program. This year, with Facebook, the website, the new magazine, the calendar and iConnect, AJET believes that promoting and sustaining the awards would be much more feasible and widespread. Regarding the process of nominations and selection of winners, anyone would be allowed to nominate any current or former JET participant via the website that would be used for these awards. Obviously, AJET cannot highlight all the great achievements of every JET across the country, so the selection committee would be dependent on JETs or people in their communities via a nomination application. Regarding budgetary concerns, AJET does not foresee any budgetary concerns regarding a web-based program like this, so the only things that would require any budget would be the certificates and the post to mail those. Sustainability is, of course, always a concern. AJET highlighted several sustainability questions in the 2011 Winter General Activities Report. However, AJET feels that the more people working together on a project like this, the more likely that there will be a better success rate of being able to sustain such a program. Thank you very much.

CLAIR confirmed that the AJET awards were not held last year and asked for more information about the statistics of past awards before moving forward on the recent proposal. AJET agreed to provide the necessary information at a later time.