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Students travel to Japan to participate in annual conference

Two Mills students have been chosen to participate in the 55th Annual Japan-America Student Conference which will be held in Japan.

Seniors Leah Mullen and Jill Kunishima were accepted earlier this month and will be going to Japan visiting Tokyo, Okinawa, Fukui and Kyoto between July 22 and August 21.

This 30-day conference is an annual educational and cultural exchange program that aims to bring Japanese and American university students together to collaborate on issues surrounding social change.

The conference centered on the topic of Civic Participation in a Globalizing Society.

It promotes peace through mutual understanding, friendship and trust and lets students exchange views on a variety of subjects through roundtable paper presentations and field trips.

” I’m super excited because it fits in with what I’ve been working for with my college major,” said Mullen.

” It will be exciting to use the skills and knowledge I’ve gained. I am very interested in looking at different cultures and seeing how people in Japan work towards social change,” said Mullen.

Jill Kunishima, another participant in the conference, showed her enthusiasm for the month-long project.

” I am very excited and honored to represent Mills,” said Kunishima.

“I’m glad Mills is involved in this conference since we have been there from the very beginning.

Not only is it great that Mills is among those participating along with huge ivy league schools, but to have three out of the 30 American students come from Mills is exciting.”

“Part of the reason I’m excited is that I am Japanese-American,” added Kunishima.

“We have very similar societies and by building the cultural gap, we can make a world of difference. I think I’ll be able to offer a different perspective on being Japanese and raised in America.”

The first conference was held in 1934 in Tokyo and was initiated by a small group of Japanese students concerned about the deterioration of relations between the United States and Japan.

Celebrating its 69th year, the Japan-America Student Conference is the oldest university student exchange program between the United States and Japan.

Founded in 1934, JASC has remained student designed and coordinated.

Most notable among the those of have participated in JASC are Kiichi Miyazawa, former prime minister of Japan and Henry Kissinger, former U.S. secretary of state.