Japanese Teachers and Students Welcome Online Seminars about Taiwan
Many Japanese teachers and students want to learn more about Taiwan and Taiwan is the country that the largest number of Japanese high schools choose to take their students to when they travel abroad for school trips. According to surveys conducted by school trip related organizations in Japan, more than 57,000 teachers from 357 high schools in Japan visited Taiwan on exchange trips in 2018.
The Education Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan worked together with Japanese researchers and the Online Academy of School Trips to Taiwan to present five seminars in August and September 2020, during the Japanese summer holiday.
The seminars were originally going to be held live in major Japanese cities and prefectures to promote a range of school trip to Taiwan programs, but in response to the novel coronavirus, they were presented online, combining lectures with a Q&A seesion.
Associate Professor Akamatsu Miwako 赤松美和子 from Otsuma Women's University was the emcee, and Professor Matsuda Yasuhiro 松田康博 from the University of Tokyo, a specialist on Taiwan, Professor Madoka Fukuda 福田円 from Hosei University, a specialist on international politics, and Professor Yamazaki Naoya 山崎直也 from Teikyo University, a specialist on Taiwanese culture were the invited speakers. They introduced current political, economic, and educational developments in Taiwan to the participating teachers and students to deepen their understanding of Taiwan.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, many Japanese schools had to cancel previously scheduled trips to Taiwan so the seminars were widely welcomed by Japanese school teachers and students. They attracted more than ten-thousand participants and the organizers hope that they will lead to more exchanges between high schools in Taiwan and in Japan, after the pandemic subsides.