This is a summary of the Spring 2013 Opinion Exchange meeting between the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC); the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA); the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT); the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR); and National AJET. The following is a summary of the discussion regarding the report, ‘Professional Development for Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs)’. To access the full report, please click here.
Professional Development of Coordinators for International Relations
Written by Luke D.K. Happle, Justin Bussies, James Kemp, Neetha Mony and Chris Mulder
Presented and Interpreted by Luke D.K. Happle
In the discussion that followed this report, it was understood that while MIC is not specifically considering any grant programmes for CIR alumni at this time, MIC and the other Ministries believe that lasting relationships between JET participants and their contracting organisations are very important and would like to hear more from AJET about what initiatives and projects may be possible in this area.
Also, CLAIR will continue to listen to feedback with regard to the Translation and Interpretation Course and consider how to improve it in future. AJET understands that CLAIR instructs the company running the course to use native translations. In addition, CLAIR would like to note that first-year April arrival JET participants with Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) Level N1 will be exempt from taking the qualifying exam for this course.
The Ministries and CLAIR also acknowledged that, for some CIRs and their workplaces, there may be confusion understanding the difference between possessing Japanese language skills and having specialised interpretation skills. This may be an area in which CLAIR and AJET can play a stronger role in promoting greater understanding of this point and potentially dividing professional development opportunities on this basis. Specifically, CLAIR stated that they will consider encouraging contracting organisations to allow CIRs to participate in the training opportunities afforded to other local government employees in their workplaces. AJET would welcome this development for CIRs and increasing their professional development on a local level.