Our students Puneeth and Devansh had a time of their lives in Japan. The students were on an Exchange Program to Japan. The Asia Kakehashi Project, as the name suggests is bridging the gap between the diverse cultures that these students hail from. After an orientation session in Tokyo, they headed to their respective schools in the city of Shizuoka and Devansh in Kumon International School, Japan.
Puneeth got an opportunity to attend the Seiko Global Development Conference 2019.
Here are his reflections on the conference….
The Seiko Global Development Conference was held from 28th August – 5th Sept 2019. The conference was held to raise awareness about the current scenario of our planet – Earth. The conference taught the significance of the Sustainable Development Goals – adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
The SDGC had students from 10 schools, such as Jashore Zilla School-Bangladesh, Suchitra Academy – India, Indonesia- MAN Cipasung, Shizuoka Seiko Academy and Shizuoka Seien Girls’ High School – Japan, Maktab Sultan Abu Bakar and Malay College Kuala Kangsar – Malaysia, CRPAO SCHOOL and Vajiravudh College – Thailand & Marie Curie High School- Vietnam.
On 28th and 29th August we had spent time in Tokyo, sightseeing, we were taken to the Tokyo Skytree and went on a scavenger hunt around Tokyo intending to go to as many checkpoints as possible, which my group had won. After the long tiring day, we were yet to board a 5- hour long bus back to Shizuoka.
The next day we were taken to a local garbage plant to see the process of waste management, for which Shizuoka is well known for. The executives at the garbage plant had also presented to us the step-by-step process from collection to disposal and treatment. Further that day, the government servants of Shizuoka City explained Japan’s role in implementing SDGs and that 36% of the population of Shizuoka was aware of the SDGs. We also learned that Japan ranked 15th out of 156 countries trying to implement the SDGs, whereas countries such as India and Bangladesh ranked 112th and 111th respectively.
On the 31st, few of us had visited a village near Mt. Fuji called Oshino-Hakkai; with the cold breeze blowing, we went shopping for souvenirs and more. Thereafter, we were taken to the Lake Kawaguchi, which is a part of the GOKO- “go” meaning five and “ko” meaning lake, that is the five lakes around Fuji-san. Here we rode a cable car, to reach the viewpoint to see Fuji-san amidst the clouds.
The following day was spent working on the steps we would take as tomorrow’s citizens to combat today’s crisis. A couple of workshops were conducted, and everything discussed during the group workshops was to be presented on 3rd September, to our school’s students including a few government officials who added up to 500 people in the audience. We spent 2nd September finalizing our presentation along with a tour of the Tamiya headquarters here in Shizuoka. Tamiya is a very famous, here in Japan as well as other countries throughout the World for making world-class, miniature models of military tanks, naval ships, fighter planes, sports cars and many more. They had displayed a section of the Headquarters where these models rebuilt and made into humanly-driven vehicles.
My group had presented ways to combat environmental damage. We thought it could be done by following the Triple R Rule and conducting research to and somehow use Plastic as a Fuel. The presentation was followed by cultural performances from the schools from Thailand,
Malaysia, and Indonesia. And then we have a farewell party as this was the last of the summit in Shizuoka.
The next day was scheduled to have a surprise Tokyo sightseeing and we were informed on the way we would be taken to Tokyo Disneyland that day. This announcement was followed by cheers and smiles on the students’ faces. And finally, after spending the day having fun and enjoying at Disneyland, it was time to say goodbye the next day. We had seen off our friends from Vajiravudh College and MAN Cipasung from Thailand and Indonesia respectively.