November 29, 2016
Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and Youth Volunteers for Nikkei Communities who recently completed their two-year assignment, had the honor of being granted an audience with Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan at the Imperial Palace on Sept. 15.
The following Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs) and Youth Volunteers for Nikkei Communities (NJVs) were granted an audience with Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress at the imperial palace: Ms. Megumi Sekine, a community development specialist, provided assistance to improve the lives of socially vulnerable groups in Nepal; Ms. Ran Fujii, a veterinarian, greatly improved the quality of cow's milk in the Philippines; Ms. Keiko Kitahara, an environmental education specialist, contributed to raising awareness of the need to reduce garbage, reuse waste glass and recycle in Palau; Mr. Tsukasa Watanabe, a physical therapist, offered rehabilitation services and created equipment for rehabilitation in Costa Rica; Mr. Hideki Okabe, an early child education specialist, worked to promote child care in Cameroon; Mr. Keisuke Inada, a mathematics education specialist, worked to improve the quality of math classes and provided academic support to students in the Republic of South Africa; and Ms. Mariko Soeda, a dress making specialist, provided academic support and livelihood training to students and worked to improve the capacity of instructors in Jordan.
The JOCVs, which began as a project of the Japanese government on April 20, 1965, have since sent a total of 41,776 people to 88 countries. Currently, there are 2,053 active JOCV’s working in 70 countries*.
*As of July 31, 2016
A meeting with JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka before the meeting with Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan.Front row from left: Mariko Soeda, Keiko Kitahara, JICA President Shinichi Kitaoka, Ran fujii and Megumi Sekine.Back row from left: Tsukasa Watanabe, Hideki Okabe, Toshio Ogawa, Director General of Secretariat of JOCV and Keisuke Inada.