J.CLAIR Singapore successfully held a joint seminar with the Universiti Brunei Darussalam (hereafter, UBD) on 15 February 2023. The seminar aimed to share relevant information on Japan, targeting especially the students who are traveling to Japan for their study as part of their Discovery Year program. This seminar covered three areas based on the students’ interests: culture and lifestyle, the Muslim community, and student life in Japan. The speakers from J.CLAIR Singapore were given the opportunity to share some of the latest developments on the above topics through a series of presentations as well as panel discussions in English.
UBD is a prestigious national university which was established in 1985 in north of Brunei Darussalam. The university specializes in a wide range of academics with 9 faculties and 7 research institutions. Currently, nearly 3,600 students study at the school. The seminar on 15 February 2023 saw the attendance of approximately 50 participants in total, consisting of both students and UBD staff members
1. Presentations by J.CLAIR Singapore staff members
Prior to the seminar, J.CLAIR Singapore and UBD had discussed the topics that would be the most appropriate for this program, and decided on Japan-related matters that students might find helpful. In line with this theme, J.CLAIR Singapore staff prepared their presentation materials based on the aforementioned three fields accordingly.
On the day of the seminar, Deputy Executive Director Mr. Yamamoto Takahiro first introduced J.CLAIR Singapore’s activities. Following that, three Deputy Directors dispatched from Kagoshima, Okayama and Nagano Prefecture delivered their presentations titled ‘Japanese Culture and Lifestyle’, ‘Muslim Community in Japan’, and ‘Japanese Student Life: From Elementary school to Job hunting’ respectively. A staff member from Tokyo Metropolitan Government gave the presentation on behalf of the member from Kagoshima Prefecture for she was unable to make it on-site.
The seminar was highly successful, seeing as both UBD students and staff were very attentive and interested in the presentations, as well as actively participated in the panel discussion.
2. Panel discussion between J.CLAIR Singapore staff members and UBD students
Following the presentations, a panel discussion between J.CLAIR Singapore staff members and UBD students was held with Dr. Sabrina from UBD as the moderator. In the panel discussion, we received various questions ranging from presentation contents to our organization’s activities. The students were eager to get further information on Japanese manners and etiquettes other than ones which were mentioned in the presentation, famous areas to immerse in Japanese traditional dance culture, and even asked for advice on how to further promote Japan in their school.
Through the panel discussions, J.CLAIR Singapore staff members were given the opportunity to understand the students’ strong motivation towards Japan and UBD’s meaningful program named Discovery Year which enables its students to study at overseas educational institutes. On the other hand, UDB students were able to acquire on-the-ground information about Japan directly from Japanese local government officials, whom they could rarely meet in their daily lives.
3. Visit to the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam
In line with the seminar, J.CLAIR Singapore staff members also visited the Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam as well. There, the members had an opportunity to give a brief explanation on our recent activities as well as asked for further support from the Embassy for our future programs. The Embassy official showed interest in our organization’s Specialist Dispatch Project which focuses on solving public administration-related problems in Brunei Darussalam.
The Embassy also conducted a briefing for J.CLAIR Singapore members on the overall situation of mutual communication between the local authorities in Japan and Brunei Darussalam, which includes information regarding the general condition and the matters like how visits from Japan to Brunei Darussalam have been increasing since the reopening.
This visit was fruitful with J.CLAIR Singapore and the Embassy agreeing to continuous cooperation moving forward.
4. Further collaborations in the future
After the seminar, UBD professors expressed their appreciation to J.CLAIR Singapore and hope for an increase in their students’ studying in Japan.
Through various initiatives, J.CLAIR Singapore will continue to strive to build and strengthen networks with related organizations in ASEAN, India, and Sri Lanka, and will contribute to the overseas activities of Japanese local governments.