202405205Date and Time: Monday, May 20, 2024   2:00 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.   

Venue: Matsudo City International Friendship Room (in Matsudo City Cultural Hall)

Participants: Abiko City (AIRA) 2, Kashiwa City (KIRA) 2, Shiroi City 2, Noda City (NIA) 3, Nagareyama City (NIFA) 4, Matsudo City (MIEA) 4     Total 17 people                     (No.24-5)

This fiscal year’s liaison council meeting was hosted by the organizing association MIEA. Following the address by Mr. Ito, MIEA chairman of the board of directors, the participants introduced themselves, and the meeting was facilitated according to the agenda by the MIEA Secretary General Watanabe.

(1) The financial report for FY2023 showed that the remaining balance was more than the expected annual expenditure, and it was decided not to collect membership fees this fiscal year.

(2) In the election of officers for FY2024, President Ito, MIEA chairman of board, Vice-President Ito, Treasurer Ishimura and Auditor Kitajima (AIRA) were elected.

(3) Reports on activities in FY2023 and plans on activities in FY2024 were presented by each association.

Here are the main ones:

 ・Shiroi City: Lectures by foreign ambassadors, exchange festival at an industrial park with many foreigners.

 ・NIFA: Japanese language instructor training course is scheduled to begin in FY2024.

 ・NIA:Vietnamese and Thai language courses are scheduled to begin in FY2024.

 ・MIEA:They signed an agreement with Matsudo City to support foreigners in times of disaster. They sent Japanese class students to the Disaster Prevention Center for hands-on experience. They plan to spread speaking in easy Japanese with foreigners through neighborhood associations.

(4) Regarding the membership of International Exchange Associations in other neighboring prefectures, there were some opinions that they are from other prefectures although they are in the neighborhood. The council reached a conclusion that they would allow the associations to attend the meeting as observers.  

(5) For “Events and PR for the young”, the following was reported:

  ① Events for parents and children to participate and co-host with local junior high school students

 ② Participation in local high school cultural festivals to raise interest in foreign countries

  ③ Various events such as K-pop dance experience and cooking Vietnam snacks and summer dishes for parents and children to make together and visiting Kamakura and Mt. Tsukuba by cross-cultural circles

(6) “Regarding current situations of Sister Cities and Friendship Cities”, the following was reported:

 ① Exchange with foreign countries fosters friendship with foreigners and an international mindset, which motivates to create a multicultural society. ② It is useful for cross-cultural exchanges and global education and is affected by financial conditions.

(7) “Regarding the number of hours and the reasons for Japanese language volunteer training course”, many organizations conducted 20 sessions with two hours each, and there was an opinion that 20 sessions were necessary.  

(Translated by Rie Hama)