JENESYS 2018: Our unexpected journey to Japan
SHINJUKU, TOKYO; Before we start giving you details of our adventure for a 9-day visit to Japan, allow me to briefly give you an introduction on how we were invited to participate in the JENESYS 2018 programme fully sponsored by the Japanese Government.
As many of you are aware, www.klhighspeedrail.com is a website that provides all information and updates on the KL-Singapore HSR project. Our enthusiasm towards the train system development in Malaysia particularly the KL-Singapore HSR project has caught the attention of the Japanese government – we were invited by them to participate in an inbound programme known as JENESYS 2018 to share knowledge and experience on the holistic train system in Japan that they have developed for some 50 years.
What is JENESYS 2018?
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan promotes people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the various nations of the Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean regions. The Asian and Oceanian regional component of this exchange program is called “JENESYS2018”. Under “JENESY2018”, approximately 1,360 youths from ASEAN Member States, Timor-Leste and India will be invited to Japan and 200 youths from Japan will be dispatched to ASEAN Member States and Timor-Leste.
Objectives of JENESYS 2018
- To promote mutual trust and understanding among the people of Japan and participating countries, and regions, to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation
- To promote a global understanding of Japans economics, society, politics and foreign policy
- To convey information on Japan to the general public of ASEAN Member States, Timor-Leste and India through the participants of this project.
Arrived at KLIA at 7.30 pm, we were briefed by the representative of Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE).
JICE – has been involved for more than 40 years in assisting development of human resources who are mainly engaged in development of their countries. Through international training and dispatching experts abroad, JICE offers Japanese technologies, knowledge and experiences that Japan has nurtured, to the people across the world and youth for leadersof the future.
We then boarded for MH0088 flight A380 sharp at 11.30 pm (kudos to Malaysia Airlines for taking-off on time) bound for Narita International Airport. We landed at about 7.30 am local time and we were brought straight to Shinjiku I-Land Tower for a lunch session. We had steam rice, miso soup and grilled salmon – it was a definite original Japanese meal.
From there, we took a 5-minute walk to JICE’s office for an orientation session where there were a two-part of explanations. The first part was about the whole JENESYS programme – the visits and line-ups they have planned for all of us – yes, there are 20 of us which includes delegates from the Malaysian government agencies as well as universities students such as UTM and UPM.
The second part was an interesting one where we were thoroughly briefed about the do’s and don’ts while you’re in Japan. It really got us think that these Japanese are really serious about their cultures and daily practices from flushing the toilets and how to take a bath to where to properly throw your rubbish.
It is very important for them to maintain these values and as such, they educate the visitors to practice as they do in their daily lives. Here are some of the pictures from the handbook printed for us.
Other explanations during the orientation also included safety tips during and after an earthquake. We were told that do not be afraid as most buildings in Japan are earthquake-resistant.
We were then ushered to our hotel that is Shinjuku Washington Hotel for check-ins. Although it’s a small hotel, smaller than any regular hotel we have in Malaysia, but it’s so complete and we got to experience our first time using the hi-tech toilet.
Day 1 of JENESYS 2018 was concluded with a dinner at Nishi-Shinjuku.