In the postwar years of spectacular economic growth in Japan, there was a culture among corporates to grow in strength and become visibly active. Sony Corporation, HONDA Motor Company, Ltd. and Kyocera, all those world-class companies were founded in this era.
After over 60 years, a huge earthquake & tsunami hit Japan. It was three months after the disaster, when I started the new educational project, “Beyond Tomorrow” aiming to produce leaders of new generation from the disaster affected area. I had a belief in the potential of young people who will bring change to the society in order to open up new field from there.
Since then, the project has been well on with two programs. One is “Scholarship program” which support high school students to get in college as well as for students who wish to go study abroad. The other program is “Leadership Program” which provides different kinds of leadership educational program, which support high school and college students who wish to be a leader of Tohoku district after the disaster.
In this October, the third annual “Beyond Tomorrow Tohoku Future Leaders Summit” was held. About 80 High school and college students who were selected from Tohoku district gathered in Tokyo and presented proposals of the future of Tohoku.
There were students who lost their parents and their house. The earthquake and Tsunami destroyed their hometown in an instant. They are ready to go out of their way to use their energy for the future of Tohoku. “Foreign exchange program to connect between affected area and outside”, “Establishment of museum where we can pass the memory of disaster down the generations”. These are the example of their ambitious proposals. These proposals will be passed to the Japan’s First Lady, Akie Abe directly from the students.
They are socially conscious young people who took a step to put the tragedy behind. They even recognize themselves as the leader of reconstruction. They have an acute power of analysis.
Their preparedness and praiseworthy tenacity to rebuild their hometown from scratch, recall the image of those leaders who took a central role in recovery of Japan after the war.
Raising those youngsters is not only for the disaster area but also it will lead to create new dynamic Japanese societies with full of spirit of a challenge. They will also contribute to Japan’s own national interest as well as to enhance presence of Japan in global community. I’ll stand by them and support all their efforts towards a settlement of the situation.
Executive Director, Member of the Board of Global Fund for Education Assistance Since June, 2011 to present
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