JENESYS Youth Ambassador for Tohoku and Singapore (Report)
Minako Seki, Shizuka Iwabuchi, Mika Iwabuchi, Toshimi Kikuchi, Mai Kimura, Saori Sasaki, Rina Sasaki, Aki Meguro

  In 2012 July 2nd - 8th, we, the eight students from Tohoku area, have spent unforgettable days in Singapore. Last summer, 100 Singaporean student visited Tohoku area as Youth Ambassador for Tohoku of assistance for the Great Tohoku Earthquake which happened on March 11th in 2011 and it became the first step to bridge between two countries and this time. Following the first step, and thanks to lots of cooperation, our visit came true as a second step. After Singaporean students were back to Singapore, we have been keep in touch on Facebook or exchanging letters, however, no one could have imagined that we could meet up again so soon. We would never forget the moment that we could finally saw each other in Singapore.

It was the first time for all of the eight students from Tohoku to be in Singapore and the days that we have spent there were quite new experiences and overflowing with stimulus to us. We found that the city was full of fashionable designed buildings and the famous places for tourism such as the Marina Bay Sends, the Sentosa Island. They took our breath away. During our stay, we were also aware of Mosque, church, temple and a small room in a shopping mall for praying of Muslim people, a canteen in a university has some booth for vegetarian and halal. We were so surprised that many races, religion, languages and cultures are living together in this small country. We sometimes confused because of the differences between Singapore and Japan such as Singaporean male must go for the national service for two years as a military service and some family have a live-in made with their daily lives. However, more than that, it was really impressed the people who we met in Singapore have beautiful warmhearted mind to all of us.

We had some conversations with local students about some issues in Singapore such as that Singapore is struggle for developing of tourism and has a strong sense of risk management against terrorism, and because of many foreigners, citizens in Singapore experience the difficulties of job hunting. We knew these issues already before our visit, however, thanks to the conversation with local people, we felt about the problems much closer than before to us and think about it more familiarly.

There are lots of differences between Singapore and Japan. Therefore, we can learn a lot from each other. Thorough our stay in Singapore, we could learn many things such as flexibility, attractive tourism points, rapid development, efforts behind the development in Singapore. We could also make friends and have wonderful days. We would like to make efforts for reconstruction in Tohoku and Japan keeping this bond. We, the young generation could get this wonderful opportunity thanks to past generation. We hope that we can do something for coming generation like them.