On Friday, October 13, five of the semi-finalists for the 2017 J. LIVE talk competition visited Sasakawa USA’s office in Washington, D.C. over lunch to meet with Sasakawa USA staff. The lunch began with the five students representing Georgetown University, George Washington University, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County introducing themselves and sharing their interest in studying Japanese and participating in the speech competition. Many of the students expressed an affinity for Japanese culture and desired to study abroad or work in Japan in the future. Sasakawa USA staff then introduced themselves and shared their stories of how they became involved in U.S.-Japan relations and opportunities that are available to work and study in Japan.
During the lunch, Sasakawa USA CEO Ambassador James Zumwalt discussed the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance and economic relations between the two countries. Not only is U.S.-Japan financial engagement a boon to local economies for both countries, but investments in insurance, oil and gas, and even in agriculture have also deepened bilateral economic ties. Ambassador Zumwalt also expressed the value of studying abroad for students interested in international affairs and U.S.-Japan relations, and Sasakawa USA shared information on programs that could work for students of all budgets.
Next, Joy Champaloux, Associate Program Officer, gave an overview of Sasakawa USA’s mission and its activities. She also spoke about her experience on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program and how it’s contributed to her understanding of U.S.-Japan relations. Following this presentation, students asked questions about the JET program application process, working in Japan, and opportunities to practice Japanese yearlong.
Sasakawa USA is proud to support the J. LIVE Talk to encourage students of Japanese language to master their Japanese communication skills. Launched in 2015, the competition aims to provide a platform for graduate and undergraduate students of institutions of higher education to showcase their proficiency in Japanese, polish their public speaking skills, share ideas from their unique perspectives, and connect with the larger Japanese-affiliated community. Click here for more information on the competition.