SD43 Superintendent Patricia Gartland, Centennial Secondary Principal Jon Bruneau, Gleneagle Secondary Principal Ken Cober, along with SD43 students from the two schools as well as Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart had the privilege of being invited to the residence of Ms. Asako Okai, the Japanese consul general in Vancouver, for a special reception on February 15 to honour and recognize those who took part in the Kakehashi project “Japanese friendship program.”
Fifteen students from the two respective schools, sponsored by teachers Naoko Martin and Doug Mancell, travelled to Japan in late January/early February which featured nine days of immersion in Japanese life.
The experiences that the students had on the trip included staying with a homestay family and interacting with their student counterparts in Japan, attending sessions on Japanese politics, society, history and diplomatic relations, visiting high-tech and traditional industries and art exhibitions, as well as visiting the Embassy of Canada and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan while in Tokyo.
Students also had the opportunity to visit Kitakyushu, the city where Gleneagle’s sister school is located, and Genkai High School where they got to experience first-hand the life of a Japanese student.
The trip was funded by the government of Japan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was sponsored by the Asia-Pacific Foundation.
The goal of the project is to promote deeper and mutual trust and understanding between the people of Japan in Canada as a basis for future friendship and cooperation, and to enhance the global understanding of Japan’s society, history, diverse cultures, politics, and foreign policy.
Centennial Secondary and Gleneagle Secondary will reciprocate the hospitality in March when they host a group of students from Japan in March.
Japanese consul general Ms. Asako Okai poses for a photo with SD43 Superintendent Patricia Gartland, Centennial Secondary Principal Jon Bruneau, Gleneagle Secondary Principal Ken Cober, along with SD43 teachers and students who took part in the Kakehashi project "Japanese friendship program."
Japanese consul general Ms. Asako Okai (left) poses for a photo with SD43 Superintendent Patricia Gartland.