This page is a summary of AJET’s history and achievements, presented in reverse chronology starting with the most recent National Council. To jump straight to a particular year, use the following links.
Launched a series of 4 YouTube videos to provide more information to JET participants about some of the work that National AJET does.
Developed and distributed pre-departure information about AJET via embassies worldwide for the first time.
Established the Race to the Top Volunteer Tracker to determine the return-on-investment that the JET Programme is generating to the Japanese community: over 800 hours of community service and 2 million yen in charity money in the first year.
Initiated a program of Professional Development Conference Calls to connect current JET participants with JET Programme alumni and other professionals in various fields.
Established a database of skilled volunteers to assist the council with various projects.
Created two new Special Interest Groups (SIGs) – VegJET and Family JET – and maintained 4 other SIGs.
Initiated two giveaways which gave JET participants a chance to win education-related resources.
Established a new AJET yurukyara (character) to be used in branding and communications.
Continued efforts to connect with JET participants and disseminate useful information, including daily posts on Twitter (followers up by 16%), regular website updates, monthly distribution of eConnect News to over 7400 people, with 7% increase in regular readership, increased membership of Facebook Block group pages, and more ‘likes’ of the National AJET Facebook page (up 19%).
Introduced a new online format for Connect magazine, using ISSUU, helping to increase total annual views by 198% for the year.
Investigated previous revenue and expenditures of AJET in detail and consulted with Japanese financial experts to understand AJET’s financial obligations and move towards greater financial transparency.
Commenced an overhaul project for the AJET website, with build phase currently in progress.
Developed new process to keep AJET events calendar up to date and populated with a large number of events.
Raised awareness of AJET and its activities amongst the CIR community by posting regularly on the CIR homepage.
Lifted survey response rates to 25% of the current JET population – the highest ever in the history of AJET and around 150% higher than the previous year.
Developed an AJET report style guide to produce consistent, high-quality reports that were presented to the ministries and CLAIR and were quoted in the Japanese media.
Increased personal and professional development opportunities for JET participants, including chances to present professional conferences, join business networking events and to receive discounts on educational materials or seminars.
Maintained a successful working relationship with JALT, including arranging the first-ever independent joint event with AJET and JALT to educate ALTs about team-teaching.
Created the 2011 AJET Corporate Prospectus to complement the AJET Affiliates Programme
Launched Education and Professional Development services including:
A partnership with International TEFL TESOL Training to give all current and incoming JETs discounted TEFL Courses, as well as periodic full TEFL course scholarships
A partnership with Temple University Japan to become “Friends of TUJ”, giving all former, current, and future JETs a 10% discount on all Continuing Education courses
An expanded relationship with JALT to bring JALT presenters to JET conferences
An online Education and Professional Development database with peer-reviewed and -submitted information on Japanese study, teaching methodology and resources, lesson plans, clip art, ESL training courses, graduate courses, teaching organizations and publications, and professional development resources
Provided AJET financial assistance to JETs affected by natural disasters
AJET Relief Fund – a fund to support affected JETs
AJET Cares – matching JETs to send care packages to affected JETs
“Man Up” – fundraising campaign
AJET Volunteer – collected and disseminated information about donating supplies and volunteering, sponsored by and/or promoted by JETs.
Connected a variety of companies and NPOs with other volunteer groups so that they could maximize their impact in Tohoku.
Published the second edition of Planet Eigo.
Created a new look for the monthly e-Bulletin.- Launched the National AJET twitter account
The “JET Orientations” report presented at the December Opinion Exchange meeting influenced CLAIR and the ministries to redevelop and restructure pre-departure, Tokyo, and prefecture orientations’ workshop content.
Presented the “JET Orientations” report at the December Opinion Exchange meetings, which influenced CLAIR and the ministries to redevelop and restructure pre-departure, Tokyo, and prefecture orientations’ workshop content. (Read the report)
Presented the “Teaching Credentials in the JET Programme,” report at the January 2010 Opinion Exchange meeting which resulted in CLAIR implementing a grant system for JETs seeking TEFL certification. (Read the report)
Highly successful workshops at Conferences prompting CLAIR to increase number of AJET-presented workshops at Tokyo Orientations.
Introduced new AJET Constitution.
Rectified imbalance in administrative Blocks, increasing the number from 10 to 11.
First completely bilingual Tatami Timeshare published.
AJET National Officer Contract introduced.
Follow-up report system introduced for reports presented to CLAIR.
6th edition of Team Taught Pizza published.
JET and Beyond 2003 published.
2001-2002 (Chair: Ms Angie Brockel)
Implemented free National Membership fee. Changed national AJET web site location to www.AJETOnline.org. Met with and created communication link with National Teacher’s Workers Union. Instituted online elections. Created National AJET General member’s list serve to keep all members better informed of AJET activities. Updated AJET Constitution and presented it to AGM for approval.
2000-2001 (Chair: Ms Sarah Nock)
AAJ Online was created to keep members informed and reduce costs for members who did not want the paper version. Created the JET Mentor Network web site (a networking resource for past and current JETs). AJET Representatives list-serve. NC Members participate in JET Alumni Assoc Annual meeting. Prefectural membership is made optional. Motion to eliminate membership fees in 2001-2 year is approved. Created a professional web site for National AJET.
1999-2000 (Chairs: Mr Jeff Pennington, Ms Jamie Martin)
AJET’s web-site address changed to www.ajet.org. The Destinations Homepage, a resource for non-renewing JETs, replaced the proposed Destinations Fair. AJET Publications JET and Beyond 2000 and Team Taught Pizza 5th ed. were published. AJET Teaching Awards honor 30 winners from across Japan and is featured in the CLAIR newsletter. Gender and Culture Issues AJET Workshop are conducted at Tokyo Orientations. The Spanish Speakers’ NG is established. The final AJET Day at Kobe Conference is held. Y600,000 of AJET Emergency Funds were donated to Japan Emergency Relief Operations. The CIR/SEA established as an elected position.
1998-1999 (Chair: Mr Tim Conton)
Successfully lobbied for consent permitting the sales of AJET publications at CLAIR-sponsored conferences. AJET Across Japan published monthly. Expanded Group Associate Member Programme to 39 members. Created an Education Liaison to handle the AJET Teaching Awards. Published Taking Nihonjin to Gaikokuland. Created the National CIR Representative position.
1997-1998 (Chair: Mr Neal Moses)
The Outdoor SIG was created, a referendum to restructure the NC was held, the AJET Fall Packet was mailed out to all AJET members, the AJET Teaching Awards were expanded to include all areas of Japan, and the 3rd Edition of the AJET Team Taught Pizza went to print.
1996-1997 (Chair: Mr Dan Lintz)
The Korean Nationality Group was established. AJET Constitution translated into Japanese, AJET’s first fully bi-lingual publication (The JET Environmental Action Guide) is produced, and Guidebooks are produced for Kobe Renewers’ Conference and Tokyo Orientation for the first time. A full-color AJET information brochure is produced. The Group Associate Membership Programme established to build better relations between AJET and the business community (24 members). The AJET Career Fair in Tokyo is held in June (1997). AJET Across Japan produces a bi-lingual edition. AJET World Wide Web Page created. Language Education SIG, SCUBA SIG, and Eco SIG established. AJET Job Fair for non-renewing JET’s interested in pursuing a job in Japan or with a Japanese company is held. AJET Constitution underwent major revisions.
1995-1996 (Chair : Mr Francis Fernandes)
The AJET Charity show at the 1995 Renewers Conference raised over half a million yen. Subscriptions to SIGs, Nationality groups and AJET books made optional. AJET Annual General Meeting for members revived. AJET across Japan newsletter replaced AJET magazine. History of AJET compiled and printed. Representation of JETs’ work through AJET made more effective through bilingual printed information and meetings in Japanese with official JET sponsors. Financial Procedures Handbook written.
1994-1995 (Chair: Ms Tonia Ing)
Team Taught Pizza book started, Stonewall and JET Jewish Network set up. The Kobe Great Hanshin Earthquake Relief fund raised over one million yen. Parliamentary Procedure introduced at National Council meetings.
1993-1994 (Chair: Mr Bill Egbert)
Business SIG and the AJET Scholarship fund were set up, Non-Renewers handbook underwent a major change, and the AJET Operational Procedures Handbook was written.
1992-1993 (Chair: Mr Paul Irons)
AJET Constitution revised, Spectrum support network for JETs of colour set up.
1991-1992 (Chair: Mr John Elsner)
AJET’s Japanese name changed from “The Foreign Youths Club” to “The JET Programme Participants Organisation”, Computer Support SIG set up.
1990-1991 (Chair: Ms Van Le)
Married JETs Support SIG set up, and AJET Prefectural chapters given greater administrative autonomy.
1989-1990 (Chair: Ms Amy Wilson)
AJET conducted workshops at the Tokyo Orientation. Tatami Timeshare travel network set up. The AJET Lookbook and the Alumni Association were officially adopted by the JET Programme.
1988-1989 (Chair: Mr Robert Juppe)
First issue of AJET magazine printed. The AJET block and nationality representatives system, the Alumni Association, Women’s Group, and Minority Support Group were set up. AJET began to work closely with Monbusho and CLAIR to give input for the Mid Year Block Conferences (MYBCs) and Orientations. The AJET Kyoto Spring Conference was officially adopted as the JET Programme Renewers’ Conference and AJET planned and conducted the workshops (AJET Day started).
1987-1988 (Co-Chairs: Mr Charles Browne, Ms Lucy Van de Brul)
The AJET Prefectural and National Officers system is set up; regional newsletters, the AJET Lookbook (telephone and address directory of JETs), the AJET Non-Renewers’ book (forerunner of today’s JET and Beyond book) and the Medical Directory were produced. The first AJET Kyoto Spring Conference for all renewing JET participants was held. International Society, Christian Support Group, and Peer Support Group were set up.
March is here, which means spring is right around the corner! While you defrost from the winter and prepare for the impending cherry blossoms, take a look at our newest issue. Catch up on the latest news headlines, including Kura Sushi’s recent employee snafu and the latest on LGBTQ+ common-law marriages in Chiba. Read one woman’s perspective as a foreigner taking part in the national Coming of Age ceremony and struggling to find that perfect kimono. Or if you’re looking for unique ways to get out and get active in your local Japanese community, we’ve got plenty of stories from people who have done it their own way, from taking on weightlifting competitions to learning printmaking techniques. This issue also includes an interview with the author of Double! Not Half, a children’s book about what it means to be half-Japanese and what we can all learn from a more multicultural world. All this and more waits in this newest issue of Connect. Happy reading!