Vol. 455 Nov., 13 2013
Students at Okinawa Shogaku High School in Japan host a tea ceremony for their counterparts invited from Dagon High School and Kamayut High School in Myanmar

Forging Japan-Myanmar Friendship through Youth Exchange Program

Program participants—20 high school students each from Myanmar and Japan

A total of 40 high school students from the two nations interchange under the “Teenage Ambassador Program”

As part of its “International Culture, Inter-Personal Exchange and Development Program”, the Aeon 1% Club has been hosting the Teenage Ambassador Program since 1990, with the aim of helping high school students from Japan and overseas to deepen mutual understanding and friendship. The total cumulative number of high school students who have taken part in this program has reached 1,236 from 16 countries.
This year, 20 Japanese students visited Myanmar, first-ever under this program, from August 21 to 29. During their stay, the students paid a courtesy call to Dr. Mya Aye, the Minister of Education, and had opportunities to learn about the society and culture of Myanmar, such as visiting Shwedagon Pagoda and attending a traditional puppetry workshop.
Following this, the same number of Myanmar high school students were invited to visit Japan from October 19 to 28. Various activities were organized for them to learn about the country first-hand during the 10-day stay, including a courtesy visit to the office of the Prime Minister and a tour to Shuri Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Okinawa Prefecture. The participating students enjoyed sharing time and deepened their understanding on each other’s countries through a range of activities including plans from homestay programs, cultural programs and local school visits.
In addition to the above cross-border mutual visit program, Aeon organizes a wide spectrum of projects for Myanmar this year that marks the 40th anniversary of the ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation agreement. For examples, the Aeon 1% Club will launch an Aeon Scholarship Program for students at Yangon University of Foreign Languages as well as a School Construction Support Project. Also, in 2013, the Aeon Environmental Foundation initiated a three-year tree-planting project in the country.