Monday, August 23, 2010

Thank you

So ends the yearlong journey of the EC that began on August 19th of last year in Kyoto. It's difficult to believe that 2 days have already passed since JASC 62 ended at San Francisco International Airport. As everybody adjusts back to life after JASC, the days will probably start passing by even faster as school work, everyday relationships and... just work catch up to us. In reality, within a few months many of us may not even remember how strongly we felt about JASC 62 on August 21st or how close we felt to one another as a delegation. We all have our own lives, and we all have to move on.

But as the ECs already know, this doesn't have to mean the end to the personal relationships we built during the conference. JASC 62 has truly been an amazing ride; even though it might be difficult to remember what JASC meant to us or see exactly how JASC has influenced us, there will likely be times when these things become apparent to us through the friends and connections we made at JASC. So JASCers, live strong and look forward to that day when we'll relive these experiences we shared over this past month!

Please forgive me for moving on to some more personal notes... To the AEC- I still remember that day last August when Naoki drew the "omikuji" for the entire new EC and got us a "daikichi" (great fortune). The fortune could not have been more true. Somehow, through all the groping in the dark over emails and telephone calls and despite all the dropped details and mistakes, we were able to make JASC 62 come together at each of the four sites. Along the way, it has really been a privilege for me to work with you guys. I remember how lucky we were to see each other at fall meeting when the rest of the 61st was still all over the globe; I remember grudgingly attending the 61st hokokukai event at Columbia but leaving feeling really glad that I went; I remember frantically trying to learn about my RT topic from Mike Auslin, Hugh Patrick, and Evans Revere among others at the Japan Society event in New York; I remember cleaning my room but forgetting to arrange for enough bedding for the two guys that stayed over for spring meeting at Princeton (and not reading all of the applications in time...). Despite all of the personal issues I had throughout this year, preparing for JASC 62 has really been the time of my life, and I'm fairly certain that I'm not alone in this respect.

To my fellow Indiana site coordinators Diane, Natsuki and Shuta, thanks for all of your hard work and for putting up with me! Thanks to my liaison comrades Natsuki and Azusa for doing a hell lot more work than me and being a good bridge between the two ECs. Thanks especially to David, Hiroki, Toru, Yuri and Mari for hearing me out when I really needed to speak honestly to somebody. Thanks so much to my RT partner Mari; I know you put in an incredible amount of effort and preparation for Security, and I can't quite express how grateful I am to have had the chance to work with you this past year. Thanks to the entire EC for making this JASC happen; I love all of you guys, and I wish every one of you the best in your remaining years as students and beyond. I hope that one day we'll all be able to see each other face to face again!

Until then, here's the oldest AEC (22) signing out. Thanks for reading.

Yudai Chiba

Saturday, July 10, 2010

June 10th - 10 days before it begins again!

Here we go again,

Here comes the next ride on this roller coaster we like to call JASC...

I am excited and nervous at the same time.

There is so much to do with only a few days left to spare.

I have been working on this conference for a whole year now with my AEC partner, Ikuno Naka,
securing food, hotels, speakers, and all sorts of crazy things I never would have imagined.

My experience leading my round table will reveal whether a whole year of hard-work was worth it.

So far, I think it was.

I love speaking with my RT delegates - their eagerness and willingness to ask questions that deeply probe into today's social issues inspires me. Fuels me in the wee hours of the morning...

Right now, I am brainstorming the field trips I will be taking my delegates on.
We recently met to discuss their interests.

My round table, Social Entrepreneurship, is meant to expose Japanese and American students to the a rising field and offer them the tools to assess and one day, influence enterprises in their respective countries.

I have an exciting array of opportunities lined up for them all ready, and I can't wait to begin.

Friday, July 9, 2010

2 weeks to go!

Hey everyone,

If you've been following this blog, I'm sure you've noticed that... well, there's a lack of things to follow. The AEC has become increasingly busy with work, travel, and above all, JASC preparations. I can honestly say that I've loved working with every member of the EC and ISC, and have thoroughly enjoyed the (intence) experience of planning the 62nd JASC... it is a venture that should only be undertaken once, and I'm glad to have been able to do so. No sigh of relief will come until all delegates are safely on their flights away from San Francisco, with 16 of them planning the 63rd JASC... what bittersweet relief that will be.

No need to even think about the end of JASC 62, though, as it hasn't even begun... although, one might say JASC 62 began last August as a vision in all of our minds. Ohh, how that vision has evolved... and so have Japan-America relations, which have been going on much longer than this 76-year-old conference.

To summarize, here is a small list of events that have taken place between Japan and America during the past year--each of them blogworthy in their own right, but the other AEC have more expertise in politics and history. I just like to read the news, and spill my text about how great JASC is going to be.

Japan-America Relations '09-'10:

The Toyota safety crisis... Millions of Toyota vehicles are recalled in late 2009 due to a safety issue with the gas pedal. As one who does not drive, I can accept your apology, Mr. Toyoda... although I can't speak for those affected by the mishap.

February 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the US-Japan treaty of mutual cooperation and security--a major part of this year's JASC theme. Where do we stand now?

March 2010 also marks the 150th anniversary of the Kanrin Maru's voyage from Japan to San Francisco--where this year's JASC will conclude.

Okinawa falls victim to politics, again, and Hatoyama steps down as Prime Minister, as Naoto Kan fills the position shortly thereafter.

Of course, that isn't everything that happened between Japan and the U.S.--both countries are under considerable political and financial pressure as two of the world's leading economies. The United States has also recently accepted aid from Japan for the Gulf oil spill cleanup, a sign that we are still very much reliant on one another, and a relationship like this is never one-sided.

The trust, friendship, and cooperative nature of JASC are powerful enough to strengthen this bond as our generation transcends to become world leaders and global voices. In recognizing the past accomplishments towards peace and security between these two nations, JASC brings us together at a pivotal time for our partnership.

If you have more to add, or other noteworthy news stories, please leave a comment! I would add a picture, but I'm not at my computer... ><;

2 weeks to JASC, start packing! Take care everyone, and have a relaxing summer.

Friday, May 14, 2010

AEC Update: 10 weeks to JASC

Hey everyone! Summer is here... for some of us, at least. The AEC will be all over the globe this summer, including Korea, Japan, England, NY and DC. If any JASCers (past and present!) are nearby, any of us would love to meet up!

The last time we all saw each other was during Spring Meeting, in March, at Princeton. We arrived Thursday and stayed up all night reviewing applications... then stayed up the next night discussing RTs... finally, on Saturday night, running on about 4 total hours of sleep each, we shot some video to introduce ourselves to the 62nd Japanese Delegation (this occurred after midnight.)

We all left each other on Sunday, traveling back to our respective universities and heading into Spring Break... JASCing never pauses, though. We were sent into the second half of the semester, doomed to be even more tired than the first... Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad.

Meanwhile, the JEC was busy preparing for Spring Orientation with the Japanese delegation, which took place between May 3-5 in Tokyo. During these few days, delegates met with alumni, had a session with English-speaking students, and had roundtable discussions--photos of RTs will be posted soon!
For those of us in the US, as our finals come to a close, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and continuing to work towards the 62nd Japan-America Student Conference, aka, the best summer you'll ever have.

On that happy note, time to get to know your AEC!
Intro videos for the AEC are below; the second video is the one we shot for Japadeles, in which we're in a zombie-like state... maybe the JEC can prepare a similar video for us to show everyone during American Orientation!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Introducing... Hiroki Takahashi!

After much ado, allow me to introduce my most wonderful RT partner for the Environment Roundtable... the honorable Hiroki Takahashi!

I asked him some very important questions in order to gain some insight into his interesting persona. Here are his creative responses:

Where do you want to live in the future, and why?

I want to live in New York. When I was a junior high school student, I had a trip to America and visited New York city. There are soooo many energetic office workers who I have never seen in Japan. Since then, I have admired them and want to be like a powerful and intelligent worker in NY.

If you could be a type of food, what kind of food would you be?

If I could be a type of food, I would be an unripened grape. If you find a grape that looks nice, you try to eat it, but this type of grape is so sour...
That is to say, I am seemingly normal student, but my inner self is not normal or mature...><
(Author's note: Untrue--I think if you bit Hiroki, he would not be sour at all. He's quite mature :) )

What was the funniest moment of the 61st JASC?

The homestay was soo fun in the 61st JASC. My homestay partner was David, as you see, he is one of the AEC. My host family were grape farmers, and they lived in the Japanese traditional house.The most impressive event in this Homestay was meal of traditional food, including the bugs...><>

What are you looking forward to in the 62nd JASC?

I am looking forward to having the Homestay! I do not know the American lifestyle, because I have not lived in the USA. What foods do they eat in normal life? How do they spend their Holidays? ....these questions can be answered by my real experience during Homestay. If this sort of Homestay can be realized, I can understand the American culture deeply.

What is the meaning of your name?

My name is Hiroki Takahashi.
My family name is Takahashi. Takahashi means "high bridge", it does not have much implication in it.

My name is Hiroki. Hiroki is expressed in Kanji, 央樹. It means "central big tree."
This origin is simple. My city has a big tree located in the center of city.
The big tree is loved by city's people, so my parents wanted me to be like this tree which is loved by anyone, and so they named me Hiroki.


As you see, there is a lot going on inside of Hiroki's head... I can't wait to see him again during JASC 62, and for those of you attending this year's conference, you, too, can understand what it is like to be friends with the great Hiroki Takahashi!

Take care,


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Introducing Toru Omiya!

Hello All! I hope everyone is enjoying the arrival of lovely spring these days. I am currently making a sweet escape to California for my spring break, and the weather is awesome as expected☺ !

Today, I would like to introduce my Japanese counterpart, Toru Omiya, to you all. We will be leading the roundtable of Sustainable Regionalism: How can urban cities and rural communities coexist?. To give you his brief background, Toru is a junior at Tokyo University, majoring in City planning, and he has a great sense of music. (he used to be a leading singer in his band!) Here are some answers I got from him about himself. Enjoy!

1. Why did you apply to JASC last year?

There were two main reasons why I decided to apply to JASC.

The first one is simply because JASC seemed to me interesting and attractive.
Before applying, I had joined another international exchange activity as well, which made me find myself loving to exchange my idea with people from different background and eager to know different culture and language.

The second is because I wanted to understand what is “real” America.
To be honest, although I didn't have any friends from the U.S nor any experience of visiting the U.S, I felt like that I didn't like this country at that time, which I think is because I was working on some project as volunteer staff at a NGO which dealt with environmental issues in the developing countries. They always strongly insisted the sins of the U.S government policy for global warming. Then, this kind of way of thinking might affected me.

On the other hand, I felt I should have more communication with people from the U.S, because I am a person who doesn’t like to say something without precise understanding.
At that very moment, I happened to know JASC from one of my best friends, who was engaged in this conference as one of JECs. She proudly explained me about JASC, and said, “Toru, you should apply! I 'm sure that JASC must be a life changing experience for you.”
With her words, I finally made up my mind to apply to JASC last year.

2. What were the most memorable, meaningful experiences you got out of JASC?

It is really difficult for me to choose only one experience out of JASC....
Although so many memorable experiences come upon my mind, I think visiting Japanese local city with Amedeles was one of the most interesting experiences for me.
As third site of 61st JASC, we visited one small rural city, Obuse in Nagano prefecture, where about only 10,000 people live.( This is smallest population in Nagano )

As for me, the scenery in Obuse was normal. Of course, people there welcomed us warmly and there were interesting effort and projects to survive as an autonomous community. Except of that, there was nothing particular that stood out for me in this Japanese rural city.
As for most Amedeles,on the other hand, this experiences in Obuse seemed really moving.
This made me surprised and gave me a chance to rethink the question, “What is the uniqueness of Japan?”

Even now, majoring in Japanese city planning at my university, I still have this question in my mind.

3. What are your favorite things to do?

I love listening to music, watching movies, reading books, taking pictures, talking with friends ....etc...
maybe I like to do.....EVERYTHING! haha

4. What is your vision for the 62nd JASC?

There are two vision for the 62nd JASC.

The first is to make this program like a cafeteria.
JASC is such place that we can talk everything we want, so I'm happy if I could be a kind of bond for each person and make JASC kind of a place where delegates feel at ease to talk with each other.

The second is to make a particular conclusion in my Sustainable Regionalism roundtable.
Our RT topic is really vague and there will be some gaps among members towards the discussion.
So it will be hard to decide on one direction, therefore it must be meaningful if we could do that.
With my greatest buddy Marie, I want to make my RT the best ever.

5. Please give your special message to potential JASCers!:)

Even though there is a quite close relationship between our two countries, it seems most people don' t have any occasion to communicate with each other in person.
JASC must be a really great opportunity for you to know “what Japan is”, “what the U.S is” and “who you are”. I want to persuade you strongly to apply to 62nd JASC!

Hurry up if you want to change yourself :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

1st Japanese Executive Committee Introduction!

Hey Everyone!

Naoki here. The application deadline is less than two weeks away...exciting! Anyway, I'd like to introduce the AWESOME chair of the Japanese Executive Committee, Koichiro Yasukawa. He's currently a senior at Waseda University in Japan. Check out the answers to some (interesting) questions below~

Introduce yourself in two sentences.
Oldest among All ECs. Looks truly old. lol

Why did you apply to JASC 61?
Acutually I applied to JASC 59th, but unfortunatelly I counldn't join
it. So 61st was my second time applying to JASC. I truely interested
in the discussion with foreign student, especially with the student in

What was your favorite moment of JASC 61?
Laundry trip: During JASC we sometimes hang out for finding
Laundry lol and the moment we are on the way for the Laundry is good
time for us to have a lot of casual talk!

If you had an RT what would it be about?
It would be about International Law

What are you looking forward to most in the US
Ummm, to meet a great American delegates and also 62nd AECs !

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
It would be precognition, I really wanna know about the final exam!!!!!!

Message to the delegates?
Let's have fun!