“Kakehashi Project – The Bridge for Tomorrow” is a youth exchange program for high school and university students living in the United States and Japan that is promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. This program is designed to heighten interest in Japan and enhance understanding of Japan’s strengths and attractiveness. The exchange also helps students in the program create relationships that could inspire them to seek opportunities at the global level in the future. In May, participants from Murray State University joined with students from six other universities in the U.S. to visit Japan for 10 days through the Kakehashi project. During the trip, students visited the Kobe Gakuin University to better understand the Japanese students and to introduce American, and specifically Kentucky, culture. The group sang “My Old Kentucky Home,” “America the Beautiful” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to the group at Kobe Gakuin. Now the students of Kobe Gakuin University will be visiting Murray State to share the same kinds of things about their country. On Thursday, Nov. 7, a group of 25 Kobe Gakuin students and their mentors will arrive in Murray. During their four-day stay, there several things planned for the students to see and do. The itinerary includes a campus tour, games and activities with other students, and a tour of the Land Between the Lakes. While on campus, both Murray State and Kobe Gakuin students will be giving presentations to each other on topics such as the Kakehashi experience, disaster preparedness and introductions of their home cities. A U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Kakehashi-Bridge Symposium public presentation and panel discussion will be held in the Barkley Room of the Curris Center at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8, followed by a reception in the Mississippi Room at 8 p.m. Murray State students, faculty and staff, as well as Murray community members are invited to attend this free presentation and reception. For more information on the Kakehashi Project, email Yoko Hatakeyama at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hatakeyama is a senior lecturer of Japanese at Murray State University.
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May 29, 2013