TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event for Okinawa Region: “OKINAWA LOVERS, Gather Round!! – Okinawa to the World –” Held in Okinawa
On November 23, 2019, the Okinawa region held its TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework Theme Event in Okinawa, inviting three guest speakers and gathering 31 participants. Under the theme of “OKINAWA LOVERS, Gather Round!! – Okinawa to the World –,” supported by JICA Okinawa, TOMODACHI Alumni and other guests joined to event to consider not only regional challenges, but also ways to convey Okinawa’s appeal and exciting activities.
Regional Mentor Sarah Arao and Regional Leader Azumi Nakai led the event.
To introduce the event, alumni shared an overview of the TOMODACHI Initiative and TOMODACHI programs, before playing a game of “rock–paper–scissors (janken) train” as an icebreaker to help the participants feel more comfortable.
Three guests, all successful leaders addressing regional challenges and charms, joined the panel discussion.
The World Uchinanchu Student Summit President, Mr. Tadashi Isa, discussed Okinawa lovers and Uchinanchu (Okinawans), and his aim to educate the world about Uchinanchu.To achieve this goal, he proposed an “Uchinanchu Day” and an “International Japanese-American Day,” overcoming several obstacles until these days were officially established. Mr. Isa also shared his upcoming activities.
The GLE LLC President, Ms. Yukino Goya explained the history of “coral-friendly sunscreen” and its marketing campaign, and discussed undertakings that support both the environment and tourism.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Okinawa Governor, Atsumi Tanaka, shared her experiences and work as director and her surprise at becoming an expert in the field of business, as well as suggestions for mastering English without going abroad.
In the latter half of the event, participants excitedly discussed what they learned from the panel discussion and their own plans and goals for the future. After sharing, participants began creating their own logos in groups after being asked, “You are planning an ‘OKINAWA LOVERS, Gather Round!’ event. What type of event is it? What does the event logo look like?”
Finally, having completed their logos representing their dream events, each group presented their logos. Together, the participants decided the group with the best logo.Although the participants were of diverse nationalities, backgrounds, and ages, they were connected by their shared feelings toward Okinawa, as OKINAWA LOVERS recognizing their region’s appeal and challenges.
The event was held as a part of the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework, the TOMODACHI Generation Alumni Leadership Program supported by Prudential.