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“Dream Seminar”: APIC Endowment Talk Series in Ama Town, Shimane Prefecture- 2nd Talk: APIC Executive Director Shoji Sato

Aid for Speech Contest held in Trinidad and Tobago

Two programs tailored for the students at Shimane prefecture’s Oki Dozen High School: “APIC’s Endowment Talk Series”and “Regional International Cultural Exchange”, were held on the 7th and 8th of December 2021 at the Oki Learning Center in Ama Town (hereinafter Amacho), Shimane prefecture. The guest speaker was APIC’s Executive Director and previous Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia, Mr. Shoji Sato (currently a visiting professor at Sophia University), with ten students each from Oki Dozen High School taking part in the seminars. These seminars were part of APIC’s effort in its support of getting the youth of Amacho to have an interest in global issues through the comprehensive MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) which was signed between APIC and Amacho to promote cooperation on the international cultural exchange front.

On the 7th, Professor Sato talked about the following four subjects: 1. The reality of international cooperation 2. Personal experience of his time as a diplomat 3. The Afghanistan War and human security, and 4. Observing history. The subject of the Afghanistan War was timely as American troops had just pulled out of the area in August 2021, with Professor Sato explaining the situation which brought the Taliban back into power, forcing millions of people to take refuge in neighboring countries as well as those forced to flee their home and becoming internally displaced. Students seemed shocked to hear about the bitter lives the refugees and displaced people in Afghanistan were living.

The Regional International Cultural Exchange seminar on the 8th was held with the group of students who had been studying for over half a year about Micronesia; before the seminar they handed in 26 questions to which Professor Sato gave his answers. The questions are broadly grouped into the following: questions and advice pertaining to 1. Micronesia and international relations 2. Japanese Embassy in Micronesia and Prof. Sato’s personal experience, and 3. Amacho and Dozen High School’s activities. Students and professor had a lively conversation regarding the students’ questions and comments.

The first “Dream Seminar” was held over a year ago on November 17th 2020, but the further spread of COVID-19 forced the second time to be postponed, and with the end of the State of Emergency the second talk was finally held. Plans are in the works for the third talk to be held in spring 2022, once the stormy winter weather ends and the jet ferry takes up service again.


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