Invitation Program for Korean High School Teachers -Enhancing mutual understanding to build a stronger relationship between Japan and Korea-

Fifty South Korean high school teachers were invited to Japan for five days from January15-19, 2024 to participate in a program funded by the Japan-Korea and Korea-Japan Future Partnership Funds, which was jointly established by Keidanren and the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI). Keizai Koho Center (KKC) organized and implemented the invitation program, which included visits to Japanese corporations and schools, lectures by experts of various fields, and cultural experiences such as watching the Grand Sumo Tournament and learning how to perform a tea ceremony.

This program aims to develop sustainable good relations between Japan and South Korea by enhancing mutual understanding through high school teachers who have a great influence over younger generations. Prior to visiting some leading Japanese corporations and Japanese high schools, the teachers learned about the Japanese economy, Japan’s relations with neighboring Asian countries and education in Japan.

One company that the group visited was Mitsui Fudosan. At Mitsui Fudosan, the teachers learned about the company’s plans to revitalize the Nihonbashi area in cooperation with public and private sector participants and the local community. The plan will preserve Nihonbashi’s historic elements while revitalizing the area’s landscape, infrastructure and liveliness. The teachers were guided around the Nihonbashi area in small groups.

The teachers also visited Panasonic Center TOKYO which is a place for children of the next generation to learn about the increasingly urgent issue of global warming and how to combat it. “Panasonic GREEN IMPACT” is Panasonic Group’s long-term environmental vision to aim to achieve both a “better life” and “sustainable global environment,” and this message is introduced in the themes of “CO2 emission reduction” and “resource circulation.”

Mizuho Financial Group introduced their efforts in realizing sustainability including their support to provide renewable energy in shopping malls.

Hitachi, Ltd. also explained their efforts in realizing sustainability through their Green Strategy and the adoption of their GX strategy which will contribute to their corporate growth.

The highlights of the program were the visits to Japanese schools, Kaetsu Ariake Junior and Senior High School (private) and Tokyo Metropolitan Nishi High School. At Kaetsu Ariake Junior and Senior High School, they observed classes and had discussions with students and teachers, while at Nishi High School they participated in an English debate class and judged the students who debated issues regarding the declining birthrate and university entrance exams, common issues for both Japan and South Korea.

As Keidanren Chairman Tokura Masakazu stated at the welcome reception, “Through friendship and trust, I hope our countries will grow even closer together,” KKC will continue to promote mutual communication in order to strengthen the future-oriented relationship between Japan and South Korea. A program to send Japanese high school teachers to South Korea in August 2024 is being planned.