Report on the Kick Off Event


Lively exchange among people produces great power in Kanagawa!
“Kanagawa International Fan Club (KANAFAN)” Just Started!

On May 2, 2012, the kick off event of “Kanagawa International Fan Club” was held at the Kanagawa Prefectural International Training Center.

In spite of bad weather, about 100 international students, trainees, and the organizations that support them, etc. got together for celebration. The following is the report on the event, including Governor Kuroiwa’s address expressing his enthusiasm for the Fan Club, speeches by the international students on their expectations for the Club, and congratulatory messages by the organizations concerned.

“My ambition for KANAFAN” by Governor Kuroiwa

I have a great ambition for the Kanagawa International Fan Club. There are many people who came to Kanagawa from overseas for various reasons. I wish that they develop a liking for Kanagawa, become fans of Kanagawa, and tell many people about good points of the prefecture. Then, attractiveness of Kanagawa will be widely known throughout the world.
People who came to Kanagawa from abroad are working hard for their dreams. We wish to make an all-out effort to support these people.
Making efforts to give full support to foreign nationals in Kanagawa, who then will be the bridge between their home countries and the prefecture, is the diplomacy that we, at the Kanagawa Prefectural Government, can promote.
Today, we also have participants who are supporting foreign people in Kanagawa, and it is very encouraging for us. Believing that lively interaction between those who support and those who are supported will produce great power in the future, I wish to enjoy this occasion of the kick off event together with you.

“My expectations for KANAFAN” by international students

Speech by Ms. Hwang Sun-ha

My name is Hwang Sun-ha, and I am a student from South Korea. Today, I would like to talk about two requests. First, there are a number of international students in Kanagawa, and many of them wish to find employment in Japan. However, there are few job fairs for these students. So, I would like to request you to hold job fairs on many occasions in Kanagawa. Second, it seems that there is not much information on sightseeing spots other than very famous places. So, if people of Kanagawa have information on special “secret” tourist spots, I would like to ask them to share it with us.

Speech by Mr. Hao Can

I am Hao Can from China. I would like to make a proposal to further PR Kanagawa to the world. My idea is to set up a system in which foreign people living in Kanagawa serve as tourist guides and provide services in their native languages for tourists from overseas. This will give foreign residents in Kanagawa chances to learn more about history and culture of the prefecture, and tourists from abroad can also receive guide service in their native language, which is easier to understand. It is very reassuring for foreign visitors, and they can fully enjoy sightseeing with this system. I hope many people from abroad will like Kanagawa even more.

Speech by Mr. Zhou Guangliang

My name is Zhou Guangliang. I am also from China. I would like to talk about my job hunting experience. It was very tough and I lost 3kg while searching for a job. In my opinion, there are many mismatches between companies’ recruitment policy and job-searching efforts of international students. That is because most of Japanese companies do not have special employment quota set for international students. We have to compete with Japanese students on an equal footing. Compared with Japanese students, we lack Japanese proficiency and ability to collect information, and I think this is the reason for the mismatch. I would be happy if I can receive support from the Kanagawa International Fan Club to improve my Japanese for business occasions. Job hunting is information warfare, so to speak. But foreign students have few information sources, and most of them do not know how to collect information. I would appreciate it if the Fan Club could gather useful information for job searching, and disseminate it to international students.

Congratulatory messages by the guests

Greetings by Mr. John Maher, Director, Japanese Language and Area Training Center, Foreign Service Institute U.S.Department of State

It has been as long as 18 years since I came to Kanagawa for the first time, and I love the life and people in Kanagawa. There are thousands of Americans living in the prefecture, and I am very grateful to Kanagawa people for their kindness and hospitality to us. Students from foreign countries, I hope you have exchanges with local people taking every opportunity, and come to love Kanagawa even more.

Greetings by Ms. Yoshiko Hayakawa, President, International Students Career Development Center (CDC)

In Kanagawa, there are many international students with strong ability and high motivation. When it comes to finding a job, however, the hurdle is set quite high for them. We felt regret for this situation, and started job assistance activities for international students. We are very glad that Kanagawa International Fan Club, which supports foreign nationals including students, has kicked off today. We would like to offer support for the Club. If we work together with international students, we will surely be able to promote Kanagawa’s charms in the world in various fields.

Following the greetings, Governor, students and trainees opened the kusudama, the decorative hanging ball, in celebration of start-up of KANAFAN. The congratulatory banner appeared with confetti.

All the people present enjoyed talking with each other until time was up, building international networks. During the event, participants were briefed on the outline of KANAFAN and membership registration. The hall was decorated with the new breed of sweet pea flowers developed in Kanagawa. Kanagawa-made Ashigara green tea and fresh tomatoes were served on the tables, savored by the participants.