July 19, 2023

On July 19, from 11:00 a.m. for about 45 minutes, Mrs. KISHIDA Yuko, the spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, received a courtesy call from a group of high school and university students from the United States. They are winners and prize winners of the National Japan Bowl, who are invited to Japan through the Kakehashi Project. The outline of the meeting is as follows.

  1. At the beginning of the meeting, Mrs. Kishida welcomed their visit to Japan and expressed her hope that they would deepen their understanding of Japan during their stay. Mrs. Kishida also told them she would look forward to seeing the younger generation like them become “Kakehashi,” a bridge connecting Japan and the U.S., after returning home. Afterward, the group representative expressed their aspirations for their visit to Japan.
  2. Thereafter, Mrs. Kishida talked with the students about various topics, including how they became interested in Japan in a relaxed atmosphere.
(Reference1)KAKEHASHI Project

The KAKEHASHI Project is a part of “Japan’s Friendship Ties programs,” an exchange program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, which is intended to promote people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the various nations of Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean regions.
The purpose of this program is to:
Promote mutual trust and understanding among the peoples of Japan, the U.S., and Canada, and build a basis for future friendship and cooperation;
Encourage an understanding of Japan; and
Convey information about Japan to the public through participants of this project.

(Reference2)National Japan Bowl

The National Japan Bowl is a national quiz tournament for American high school students studying Japanese as a foreign language.
Since its inception in 1992, the National Japan Bowl has been held jointly by the Embassy of Japan in the U.S. and the Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C. Since 2016; the National Japan Bowl has also been held in the U.K., Canada, France, Italy, Mexico, and other countries.

About the National Japan Bowl

The National Japan Bowl is America’s premier Japanese-language competition, created by the Japan-America Society of Washington DC in 1992. The National Japan Bowl’s top teams travel to Japan for a week of cultural experiences with host families and Japanese students each year. To learn more about the competition, visit our website https://japanbowl.org/

About the Japan-America Society of Washington DC

The Japan-America Society of Washington DC is a non-partisan, non-profit organization based in the U.S. capital of Washington, DC. It fosters the grassroots relationship between the United States, Japan, and its citizens. The Society promotes this friendship through more than 70 annual programs and events, from cultural activities such as the Sakura Matsuri – Japanese Street Festival, the nation’s largest celebration of Japanese culture, to educational events such as the National Japan Bowl, an annual Japanese language competition.