Friday, August 06, 2010

Hiroshima courtesy of JICA

While Channel News Asia was repeatedly broadcasting the 65th year anniversary of the dreadful 6 August 1945 Hiroshima bombing, I too recalled 6 August 1985 when I visited Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. I was in Japan appreciating the Japanese culture for a month as a participant to the program of the Philippine-ASEAN-Japan Friendship Association for the 21st Century (PAJAFA).

This leadership program sponsored by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was initiated by then Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone extending invitation to qualified Philippine and Asian youth leaders. Intent was to foster friendship between leaders of the two and other countries. Participants travel to Japan as a group, attend forums, learn Nihonggo, get immersed in a typical Japanese family in prefectures via home stay and see the popular tourist attractions.

How I was accepted in the 2nd batch is a tale of resourcefulness, confidence and even luck considering the civil servants have the priority. Qualification, education and professional background can truly bring one to places.

I remember fondly this travel. Not only because of the long stay but mainly due to the rich culture we as a Philippine and Asian team were exposed to. 25 years ago, I still see the image of the leaning Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in my mind. Memorable indeed.

Happier Japan

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