On 14 October 2020, eleven Lao high school students headed for Japan to study in Japanese high schools under the Asia-Kakehashi Project (Kakehashi means “bridging” in Japanese) supported by the Japanese Government.
They were full of hope at being able to travel to Japan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Until March 2022, these students will stay with a Japanese host family.
The eleven Lao students (nine from Vientiane and two from Luang Prabang) were selected based on their academic achievements, interest in Japanese language and culture, and their potential to become future leaders in their respective fields.
In February, the online interviews were conducted for the first time amid the global pandemic in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports of the Lao PDR, the Embassy of Japan and the AFS Intercultural Programmes Thailand.
The Kakehashi students are expected to communicate with many Japanese people to deepen mutual trust and understanding as well as to build a basis for further friendship and cooperation between the two nations.
The Embassy of Japan expresses their sincere hope that they will treasure each day and enjoy every one of the new challenges they face in Japan.
The Asia-Kakehashi Project is an initiative announced by then Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in 2017 to strengthen relations between Japan and the rest of Asia.
The programme provides full scholarships for Asian high school students to live and study in Japan. The first 100 students from Asia arrived in Japan in August 2018, and the programme has currently expanded with 235 students participating this year.
Source: Lao News Agency