Japan’s Kochi City and Indonesia’s Surabaya City entered into a sister city partnership in 1997. Since then, Kochi City has recruited youths from Surabaya City through the JET Programme (*) as Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs). Until now, a total of 6 CIRs have been dispatched to Kochi City. Even after returning to Indonesia, they have been serving as a bridge between the two cities as well as two countries, through the JET Programme Alumni Association (JETAA) Indonesia.
For example, some of them fulfilled responsibilities as a judge for the contest at ‘Surabaya Yosakoi Festival’, which has been held every year in Surabaya since 2003 and has become a major event in the city. (Yosakoi is a unique style of dance originated in Kochi. People dance in groups with naruko clappers in their hands.) In addition, in mid-January 2020, 3 former CIRs of Kochi City introduced the city they lived and performed Yosakoi on stage at the ‘Surabaya Japan Festival’ which was held at a shopping mall in Surabaya City, with a huge turnout of interested local residents.
J.CLAIR Singapore is pleased with their successive engagements and hopes these activities could deepen their mutual bonds.
The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme is one of the largest international exchange programmes in the world that employs foreign youths to Japan with the purpose of enhancing mutual understanding between Japan and other countries. At the same time, it promotes internationalisation in Japan’s local communities through improving its foreign language education.
Started in 1987, the JET Programme has welcomed more than 70,000 participants from 75 countries to Japan, including 17 Indonesians.
For more details, please refer to the JET Programme homepage.