By Merten De Kinderen
This morning we concluded the formal part of our week-long visit to Japan. During an interesting reporting session, group representatives presented their group’s action plan to disseminate the impressions and experiences gathered during our trip. MIRAI 2016 does not only offer the participating students an opportunity to learn more about Japan first-hand, but also allows us to pass the experience on to family, friends, peer students and even the general public in our respective home countries.
After the short presentations, we listened to an insightful lecture by Mr Kenju Murakami of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He talked about Japan’s position on nuclear disarmament and provided us with more information on the Japanese position on this often difficult and sensitive topic. The lecture was followed by a brief speech by the parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr.Motome Takisawa. During a joyful farewell party at noon, all participants of the programme had the chance to engage with one another one last time.
Before we all leave for our home countries in Europa, Central Asia and the Caucasus tomorrow, we still have half a day of free time left to explore Tokyo by ourselves and soak up Japanese culture one more time. I will try and make the most of this free time as I am sure I will rapidly start missing Japan when I return home.
As the programme is closing towards an end, I, in name of all participating students, would like to thank the Japanese government and people for granting us this amazing and truly inspiring experience. Finally, I would also like to extend my gratitude to the friendly coordinators who guided and assisted us whole week long. A big thanks for their continued efforts to make the trip as interesting and engaging as it was.
Pictures by Paul Claes