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Minister of Education, Youth and Information Invitation Program

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Invitation Program

(From left: Ambassador Allicock; Executive Assistant to Minister Reid Ms. Smith; Chief Educational Officer, Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Dr. McLean; Minister of Education, Youth and Information Mr. Reid; Parliamentary Secretary of Foreign Affairs Mr. Takei; Director of National Educational Trust Ms. Harris; National Education Trust consultant Mrs. Dunwell; APIC trustee Mr. Shimanouchi; and executive director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute Dr. Pinnock)

From July 9th to 14th the Jamaican Minister of Education, Youth and Information Mr. Ruel B. Reid and five other members were invited to Japan. During their stay in Japan they visited the Ministry of Education, educational institutions such as universities and high schools, as well as corporations that have strong ties with Jamaica. They also paid a visit to the Tohoku region affected by the Great East Japan earthquake in 2011.


On July 10th, APIC Executive Director Sato and APIC Secretary General Araki each gave their briefings of the itinerary of their staying in Japan, the group went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and called on the Parliamentary Secretary of Foreign Affairs Mr. Shunsuke Takei. In the evening a dinner party was held by APIC where Secretary Takei, Ambassador Allicock were in attendance, along with other attendees with deep ties to Jamaican and Japanese educational organizations. At the end of the dinner, APIC President Mr. Peter Sato and others took photos together, making the night a relaxing, meaningful event.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Invitation Program

(Minister Reid (left) and Parliamentary Secretary of Foreign Affairs Mr. Takei (right) at the dinner party)

On the 11th, in addition to visiting several companies that have ties to Jamaica, the group visited Sophia University and the Ministry of Education. In the morning they visited UCC Ueshima Coffee Company, who manages coffee farms in Jamaica, and met with the president, Mr. Ueshima. Afterward they were invited to a luncheon hosted by UCC Ueshima. In the afternoon they visited Sophia University, and after visiting the Kulturheim Chapel they paid a visit to Sophia President Terumichi. Many students from the University of the West Indies (main campus in Jamaica) come to Sophia to study on exchange programs under the Educational Partnership Agreement signed between UWI and Sophia University. After visiting the university, the group then went on to pay a visit to the Minister of Education, Mr. Hirokazu Matsuno. The meeting was meaningful for both Education Ministers Reid and Matsuno. In the evening the group visited Marubeni’s headquarters who have been engaged in elecrical business in Jamaica and attended a dinner hosted by Marubeni.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Invitation Program

(Visiting the coffee maker UCC at their Tokyo Headquarters. From left: Minister Reid, Ueshima Coffee Co. President Ueshima)

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Invitation Program

(Minister Reid (right) at Sophia University meeting University President Terumichi)

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Invitation Program

(Minister Reid (left) shaking hands with Minister of Education Mr. Matsuno (right))

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Invitation Program

(Everyone at Marubeni Co. Tokyo Headquarters)

On the 12th and 13th, the group visited Miyagi Prefecture, where they observed sites affected by the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake. In the afternoon of the 12th Minister Reid met with Mayor Kikuchi of Tagajo City, where he explained the current situation of rebuilding efforts, and visited the remains of the ancient Tagajo government offices building.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Invitation Program

(Minister Reid (left) at Tagajo City Hall, Miyagi, meeting Mayor Kikuchi (right))

On the 13th they visited the Miyagi prefectural Tagajo High School and observed the disaster studies class. Tagajo High School is the only school in addition to a high school in Hyogo prefecture which has a class dedicated to studying and learning about disaster prevention. The Minister observed a class titled “Daily Life and Safety”, which took topics such as “family” and “health” and made students think about these topics during the event of a disaster. Juniors were also able to explain their work in English. Minister Reid held great interest in this disaster studies class, and asked many questions regarding the contents etc. In the evening the group returned to Tokyo where they attended hosted by the Jamaican Embassy.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Invitation Program

(Minister Reid participating in a disaster studies class at Miyagi Prefectural Tagajo High School)

On the final day the group visited the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology and Koishikawa Secondary School. At Tokyo University of Marine Science they met with President Toshio Takeuchi and other officials, and received an explanation about the latest navigation systems and other technology the University is currently putting its effort into. After visiting the University, they made their way to Koishikawa Secondary School, which the Ministry of Education has named a “Super-Science High School”. The school has a strong English program, and the students showed off their English skills during the visit.

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Invitation Program

(Everyone visiting Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology)

Minister of Education, Youth and Information Invitation Program

(Minister Reid observing a class at Tokyo’s Koishikawa Secondary School)

Although it was a short stay, Minister Reid and other members of the group were able to visit and experience first-hand several educational sites, proving to be a meaningful visit. We hope that this trip will help to strengthen ties between Jamaica and Japan in not only the educational field, but also the business sector as well.

After the participants returned to Jamaica, an article in Jamaica’s main paper was written about Minister Reid’s visit to Sendai, Tagajo City and his desire to add a disaster studies class in Jamaica.

Please click HERE for the original article.

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