On the occasion of ASJA organization turning 20 years old (April 2000 – April 2020), the VAJA Executive Board would like to summarize the information of this organization for your interest, (some information was quoted from ASJA’s website).
ASJA (Asia Japan Alumni) International is an international organization established in April 2000, under the auspices of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a partner of ASCOJA. The organization implements the exchange programs for the Japanese government (MEXT) scholarship students from ten ASEAN countries so that they may become future leaders who act as a bridge between Japan and their home countries. In 2020, ASJA officially celebrates 20 years of operation.
2.1.Providing and managing scholarship programs for the students in Southeast Asia
Under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, ASJA has implemented the Japanese government’s scholarship programs for the students nominated by the Alumni Associations belonging ASCOJA (formerly ASJA scholarship, later becoming the MEXT scholarship nominated by ASJA). Besides of supporting research and education at Japanese graduate schools, the goal of the program is also to help international students to learn Japanese and develop their understanding of Japanese culture and people in order to foster those who are future leader. By 2020, more than 200 students have been granted this scholarship.
2.2. The cultural exchange and interaction activities for the students receiving Japanese Government Scholarship MEXT-ASCOJA
Every year, each Association of Former Students of Southeast Asian Countries recommends two students, who receive scholarships and become MEXT-ASCOJA international students. In addition to supporting research and education at universities and graduate schools in Japan, ASJA International is also an organization who designs and administers the cultural exchange and interation programs in order to develop the knowledge about Japanese language, Japanese culture for the future leaders and talents. The annual programs are organized such as:
- New student welcome party
- New student orientation
- Homestay in localities of Japan
- The activities such as ASEAN Festival in Tokyo, visiting international schools, cultural exchange seminars.
- Cross-cultural exchange network construction Project.
- Visiting Japanese enterprises (in Saitama, Toghichi, Gunma, Fukushima, etc.)
2.3.The Activities to support Alumni Associations in Southeast Asian countries
Every year, the Board of Directors of ASJA holds an annual meeting and together with the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni (ASCOJA) organize many activities to promote exchanges and interaction of many aspects between Japan and Southeast Asian countries. Some of the outstanding activities are:
- Providing the financial support and joining with the ASEAN Alumni Association to organize the Annual conference of the ASEAN Alumni Association (ASCOJA Conference) alternately once a year in a Southeast Asian country.
- Organizing International conferences of ASEAN countries and Japan: every year, under the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, ASJA International has cooperated with the ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni and organizations and agencies to organize 3 large-scale international seminars in Southeast Asian countries. The Vietnam Association of Japan Alumni was the first host holding such a symposium that was the Japan – ASEAN International Symposium on Education (JASE 2015) which has got the attention of more than 120 delegates from near 15 countries who made their speech (December 2015). In 2018, the second JASE International symposium hosted also by the Vietnam Association of Japan Alumni was held in Hanoi with the participation of more than 142 delegates and more than 40 highlight reports which received high appreciation from the participants.
2.4.The Cultural exchange promotion activities for Japanese and Southeast Asian students
ASJA International implements the function of connecting and introducing cultural, academic and scientific exchange programs among the students of Southeast Asian countries that to enhance the understanding of the Japanese country and people.
Short-term exchange program in Japan in collaboration with NIYE organization (JUNIOR) intended for 6 junior high school students from each Southeast Asian country every year to experience the life of junior high school and high school students in Japan.
Short-term exchange program in Japan in collaboration with TYCA organization – Toshiba Foundation for 2 high school students from each Southeast Asian country to create a forum for exchanging scientific and technological advances, deals in the common society of Asia, especially in Japan’s good relationship with Southeast Asian countries.
It can be said that under the help and enthusiastic support of ASJA International, the Associations of ASEAN Council of Japan Alumni has been achieving many excellent achievements in promoting the understanding and expansion of culture and customs as well as achievements of Japanese science and technology for a large number of Southeast Asian people. Thanks to the positive activities organized by ASJA International, every former student is given more opportunities to become a good bridge between his/her country and Japan where he or she has been studying and growing up.
3.THE INFLUENCE OF THE ASJA ON VIETNAM – JAPAN FRIENDSSHIP RELATION
1.The Vietnam Association of Japan Alumni (VAJA) was established by the permission of Central Committee for Foreign Relations in 2001 then has been a member of ASCOJA since 2007. As a member of ASCOJA, for the past 13 years in a row continue to receive ASJA’s support in the activities mentioned in Part 2.
2.Some of specific results of the activities:
- ASJA helped VAJA to send 66 junior high school students under the Junior program to exchange in Japan (funds paid by the Japanese side) and 10 high school students attended the exchange program (funding from Toshiba Foundation).
- ASJA has granted Japanese government scholarships to 18 master students and doctoral students to Japan.
- ASJA has funded and participated in organizing the 20th ASCOJA Congress in Hanoi on September 6 th -9 th, 2013 on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan relations and 40 years of establishing Vietnam – Japan diplomatic relations.
- ASJA has sponsored (from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan) for VAJA to successfully organize 2 International Symposiums on Japanese and Southeast Asian Education (JASE 2015 and 2018) in Hanoi.
- ASJA is the bridge that helps VAJA to carry out many cultural and educational exchange programs among Japan and Vietnam.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the founding of ASJA, the Vietnam Association of Japan Alumni would like to send our best wishes to ASJA’s Board of Directors and wish the ASJA-Japan-ASCOJA friendship more and more sustainably being the basis for peace and prosperity of ASEAN – Japan. Wish all the Board of Directors and former international students passing the COVID-19 epidemic safely and healthy.