On 13 March 2023, Ambassador Singtong Lapisatepun, Ambassador of Thailand to Japan, participated in a panel discussion on “Educating global human resources will change society” at Hitotsubashi University Hall, Chiyoda Campus. The discussion was a part of the Asia High School Kakehashi Project’s graduation ceremony. Panelists on the stage included Mr. IZUMO Mitsuru - President of Euglena and Chair of Committee on Startups of KEIDANREN, Mr. TAKI Hisao - Chairman of Gurunavi, and Mr. Robert Alan Feldman - Senior Advisor of Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities. The keynote speech of the ceremony was delivered by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The Asia Kakehashi Project (kakehashi means “bridging” in Japanese) is the initiative announced by the late Japanese Prime Minister ABE Shinzo in 2017 to strengthen relations between Japan and the rest of Asia. The program provides full scholarships for Asian high school students to live and study in Japan for the period of 6 months to 1 year. The project is operated by AFS Japan and funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). From 2018 to present, 924 students from 21 countries, 298 schools and 1,532 host families have participated in the project. There are 23 Thai students participate in this year project.
At the panel discussion, Ambassador Singtong stressed that intercultural exchange at young age contributes to one’s growth and success as well as makes one discover the life goal. On a final note, Ambassador encouraged the students to make the most of each opportunity in their life by referring to the Japanese four-character idiom “ichigo ichie” which means each opportunity may come only once in a lifetime.