Students learn about developing international careers at Hiroshima seminar

by Hisashi Kawate, Staff Writer

A career seminar to learn about roles within the Foreign Ministry and the United Nations was held in Naka Ward, Hiroshima on February 11. In advance of the April meeting of foreign ministers that will take place in Hiroshima prior to the Group of Seven (G7) summit (Ise Shima summit), the Prefectural University of Hiroshima organized the seminar with the idea of developing personnel who will be capable of working in other countries in the future. The event was attended by some 100 junior high, senior high, and university students.

Four people currently in the field, including a diplomat, made presentations at the seminar. Berin Mckenzie, 40, who works at the Hiroshima Office of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), described a project that provides professional training for civil servants from developing countries. He emphasized the fact that the city of Hiroshima, which was able to recover from the catastrophe of the atomic bombing, has drawn significant attention from the international community for its ability to offer strength and encouragement to others in the world.

Toru Naito, 49, the director of the Partnership Program Division of the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s Chugoku International Center (JICA Chugoku), talked about important factors like specialized expertise and knowledge and communication skills. He also said it is advantageous for the students to acquire French, in addition to English, which is the official language of many African nations.

Miku Kono, 17, a second-year high school student from the city of Kure, said enthusiastically, “It’s great to learn about the work of international organizations in detail. I’m going to the United States on a study abroad program this summer. During my visit there, I’d like to learn about other cultures by engaging in volunteer activities.”

(Originally published on February 12, 2016)