Former MEXT Scholars’ Reception

On Tuesday July 25th, Ambassador Kusaka together with Mrs Kusaka hosted a reception for the former recipients of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) scholarship. Approximately forty guests from Canberra, as well as from interstate, attended the reception. Guests included this year’s scholars who are about to embark on their studies in Japan. The occasion doubled as a warm send-off for this year’s scholars who will be embarking on their study in Japan. During the reception, the former MEXT scholars introduced themselves one by one, telling their stories of life after their studies in Japan and about their continuing relationship with Japan. The evening proved to be a great success as it provided an opportunity for many participants to make new contacts.

In his address, Ambassador Kusaka noted that many former scholars have successfully built their careers in government, business, and academic spheres or have utilised their studies in cultural pursuits after their studies in Japan, and other scholars have been working as bridges between their home country and Japan. The Ambassador thanked them for their efforts in strengthening relations with Japan. He went on to express that in a time of unprecedented strong and robust bilateral relations between Japan and Australia, the role of former MEXT scholars with expert knowledge and networks in Japan is now more vital than ever before.

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the Japanese government began inviting young people to Japan from neighbouring countries as foreign students. From 1954 onwards, the government expanded the program to include countries all over the world and has since welcomed more than 100,000 foreign students. Within this, approximately 700 students have been from Australia. Japan has been continuing to welcome students from all over the world to study in a wide range of fields at both the undergraduate and post-graduate level.

Former scholars with the Embassy staff

Guests listening to self-introductions

Ambassador Kusaka

David Lowe, representative of the Canberra MEXT Alumni

Toast by Ambassador Kusaka

Ambassador Kusaka and Dr de Brouwer, Secretary of the Dept of Environment

Former MEXT scholars with Ambassador & Mrs Kusaka,