MOFA literally means Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Gaimusho 外務省) which translated is Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The name is already self-explanatory, the objective of MOFA is to expand the relationship of foreigners with Japan through research, scholarships and studies involving international politics and culture.
In this article we will see the experience of Kátia Kishi of 27 years, a journalist specialized in science and a master in scientific and cultural dissemination by UNICAMP. She asked me to share the experience with the scholarship she received earlier this year called Invitation to Japan Program for Descendants of Latin America and the Caribbean ”.
Remembering that there are other programs and scholarships for everyone, not just for descendants ...
The objective of this program, offered entirely in English, is to increase understanding of Japan and its policies in countries with larger Nikkei communities, using young descendants engaged in Japanese-Brazilian activities as a bridge for disseminating learning in their regions.
Fellows did not have to pay for the trip, but, in return, they must disseminate their learning widely. Kátia Kishi also has a channel on youtube where she tells some details of this video program:
A struggle for Japanese culture
The general view that many Brazilians have about Japan is restricted to what has become more popular abroad, such as exotic foods, successful animations or cultural traits that are often restricted only to the past. However, like every country, Japan has more to offer and that is what 10 young people from Latin America and the Caribbean discovered at the beginning of the year through the program mentioned at the beginning of the article.
The 2018 “Invitation to Japan Program for Descendants of Latin America and the Caribbean” of 2018 was the most popular of all, especially in the region served by the Consulate General of Japan in São Paulo, where the largest Nikkei community (Japanese descendants) is concentrated ) outside Japan.
Kátia Kishi was approved after her sixth attempt in the same call to join a delegation made up of four other Brazilians (from São Paulo, Londrina, Belém and Recife), one Peruvian, one Bolivian, one Argentine, one Dominican and one Mexican for seven intense days of diplomatic, cultural and technological commitments in Japan, mainly in Tokyo and Fukushima.
The Program's great privileges
Activities include several visits with high political and representative authorities from Japan, such as the reception of Prince Akishino and Princess Kiko at the official residence of the Japanese Imperial Family. Also noteworthy is the exclusive meeting of Brazilians with ambassador André Aranha Corrêa Lago and his team that discuss the challenges of the Brazilian embassy in Japan.
Among cultural and futuristic activities, young Nikkei also visited the smart city “Kashiwa-no-ha”, located in Chiba, which offers spaces with sustainable technologies for the integration of the community in the form of work, commerce and physical activities for all age groups. .
At another time, they also explored Japanese history at the JICA's Museum of Japanese Migration (Japan International Cooperation Agency) in Yokohama, a place that in addition to the exhibition maintains a library with a record of all migrants, which allowed the rescue of the family history of each scholarship holder.
In Tokyo, scholarship holders still visited the stadiums under construction and the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games office, the advisers explained the campaigns to engage the Japanese in the Games, taking as examples the national vote among children about what mascots should be and the development of medals with recycled material.
During the trip to Fukushima Prefecture, they had the opportunity to meet and present Governor Masao Uchibori, who explained the province's reconstruction efforts.
The contact with the villages of Fukushima, residents and owners of a traditional Japanese inn with hot springs, where the fellows stayed, was also important to learn about the province with the good Japanese receptivity and the traditional local sake, which won for the 5th time as the best in all of Japan.
The problems discussed in the Program
During the debate on the challenges of the Brazilian embassy in Japan, one of the biggest problems reported refers to the promotion of a better performance of Brazilian children and young people at school, requiring direct partnerships with each Japanese city that receives Brazilian immigrants; the actions are based on a study conducted by economist at the University of Brasilia (UnB), Maurício Soares Bugarin and delivered to scholarship holders by the Brazilian embassy.
Still on the political points covered in the program, Kátia Kishi highlights how important it was for her personal and professional experience to debate with experts how Japanese diplomacy is developed for Latin America, a region that the Japanese government sees the Nikkei as bridges to a good bilateral relationship. with Japan to promote new partnerships, based on the foreign policy called “TOGETHER”, promoted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The fellows' agenda was packed from start to finish, with other courteous visits and debates with experts for a broad understanding of current Japan that is worth exploring. Now, back in Brazil, the journalist is looking for partnerships to share these experiences so that more Brazilians have contact with this knowledge and experiences about Japanese politics, culture and current events.
This was the text that Kátia Kishi prepared for me to share with all readers of the site, I hope you enjoyed it.
On the 20th of April 2018 (Friday) at 12pm there will be a free talk at IEL Unicamp with more details about this MOFA program. In day April 21 another one will happen in Nipo Campinas at 14hrs.
Organization: Seinenkai of the Nipo Brasileiro Cultural Institute of Campinas, Seinenkai of the Okinawa Kenjin Association of Campinas and JCI Campinas
If you want to contact Kátia Kishi to ask questions, follow the E-mail: