2017 KKC Study Tour to Japan

June 26-July 5, 2017

Nine American and one Canadian teacher participated in the 2017 Study Tour to Japan. One of the highlights of the 2017 program was teaching at Japanese schools. The fellows taught Japanese high school students at Mejiro Kenshin High School in Tokyo and Yokkaichi High School in Mie Prefecture. At Mejiro Kenshin High School, the teachers taught a variety of topics including the agricultural economy and history of California’s Central Valley, American Indians before 1492, the culture and festivals (Mardi Gras) of Louisiana and the geographic importance of the Mississippi River, and U.S. politics focusing on voting age, voter turnout, and citizen engagement. At Yokkaichi High School, fellows gave lessons on U.S. geography. They also visited Tokyo Metropolitan Koishikawa Secondary Education School and had a roundtable discussion with Japanese public school teachers.

Other visits included Benesse Corporation, East Japan Railway Company, Honda’s Suzuka factory, McKinsey & Company, Ministry of Education, Sports, Culture, Science and Technology (MEXT), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Sony Corporation, Tezuka Production (Japanese manga), Tokyo Stock Exchange and the U.S. Embassy in Japan.

The fellows also had the chance to have a discussion with Diet member Mr. Taro Kono, who was later appointed as the Foreign Minister of Japan. They also met with political analyst Mr. Ataru Takizawa to discuss Japan’s history and talked about the Japanese youth with Ms. Akiko Konishi of Toray Corporate Business Research Inc.. On the last day of the program, fellows participated in a symposium titled “U.S.-Japan Relations and People-to-People Exchange”.

Cultural programs included a visit to the Sky Tree, watching a kabuki performance, making Japanese folding screens, a homestay with a Japanese family and a 3 day trip to Mie Prefecture.