Exchanges of People and Ideas
Third Responders' Initiative is building on a long
Japanese heritage of utilizing cultural and educational exchanges
as a means of social
and economic development. The exchanges that led to the period
of Meiji and post-World War II economic expansion are the most
widely known of them. However, the written history of Japan actually
began in the records of visits by Chinese scholars in the 4th century.
Ever since then, exchanges of people and ideas have played a pivotal
role in the growth of the national identity and culture.
Within that context, we are promoting multi-lateral exchanges
of people combined with online contacts between the Tohoku region
and other communities. Our goal is to create new partnerships
that will lead to innovative approaches to dealing with reconstruction,
particularly in areas related to environmental, economic and social
issues. The results of these endeavors will be manifested in educational
and social collaborations that address specific locally defined
issues and areas of concern.
There are three phases in this process:
Phase I the program will begin with a public education process
in Japan that will include outreach to communities in the affected
region followed by a conference and public education events in
Phase II will select participants from the affected communities
to undertake a public education and planning mission to visit
possible partner communities in other countries to define areas
of need and mutual collaboration.
Phase III will be established
to exchange arrangements between Japan and selected partner countries
in which grassroots partnerships
will be established with the goal of insuring that they are continuing
and self sustaining in a fashion similar to those created during
the Master Teacher Program.