| Fadhil Yunus |
THE Embassy of Japan in Brunei Darussalam yesterday hosted a send-off ceremony for the 12 students participating in the Japan-ASEAN Youth Sports Exchange for rugby under the JENESYS2018 (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths) from September 18-25.
The programme is designed and provided by ASEC (Asean Secretariat) and the Japanese Government with support and cooperation from the Japan Rugby Football Union. The programme aims at enhancing interest in rugby among Asian countries anticipating the 2019 Rugby World Cup to be held in Japan.
“Japan attaches very much importance on Japan-ASEAN relations so we’re always thinking the future of our relationships of Asean member countries on the shoulders of the young people,” said Japanese Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Motohiko Kato.
The ambassador said the rugby group will be the first batch to visit Japan followed by badminton and football while those interested in peace building and in discussion with the Japanese universities’ students are also invited to the country.
Meanwhile, President of the Brunei Rugby Federation Union Dr Haji Kamaruddin bin Dato Seri Paduka Haji Talib said, “It is important to spread rugby awareness among friends. Rugby is a highly disciplined sport. It is controlled aggression and it is not a violent game.”
“In this globalised era, it is crucial for us to be internationally-minded. I think an exchange programme like JENESYS plays an important role because it promotes educational and cultural exchange. It also opens up new perspectives because it helps celebrate diversity and cultivates positive relationships,” said Hamizah binti Md Taha, one of the supervisors.
The students will be accompanied by three supervisors led by Hamizah.
Sports-minded students are invited and will learn future diplomacy through sports activities. They will visit Tokyo and Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan and will play tag rugby with the same aged Japanese students as well as the other Asian participating countries.
Tag rugby was introduced in Japan by those who studied rugby in the United Kingdom and came back to Japan in 1996 with equipment and guidebooks. Tag rugby was first played as an introductory game for kids to start playing rugby, and was later recognised as an independent ball game being taught in physical education classes.
Tag rugby was newly listed as one of the ball games to be taught in physical education classes in the curriculum guidelines of elementary schools.
Besides playing tag rugby, the participants will also pay courtesy calls on Japanese government officials, visit Japanese historical landmarks and National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.
At the reporting session, they will present about their findings in the programme and make an action plan after they return to their home countries. They are encouraged to disseminate Japanese attraction, Japanese sports, society or culture through Social Networking Service.