December 13, 2013
1. On December 13, Mrs. Akie Abe, Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, held talks with a total of 179 students participating in the Japan-ASEAN Student Conference--149 from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 30 Japanese students. The event was held as part of a youth exchange project known as "JENESYS 2.0." Mrs, Abe was joined by Mrs. Ani Bambang Yudhoyono, the wife of H.E. Dr. H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia; Mrs. Bun Rany, the wife of Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia; Mrs. Ho Ching, the wife of Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore; Mrs. Tran Thanh Kiem, the wife of Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah binti Mansor, the wife of Dato' Sri Haji Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia; and the wives of the ambassadors to Japan from these countries.
2. In her opening address, Mrs. Abe said that the plan to launch the JENESYS 2.0 exchange program was announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit to Indonesia last January. Mrs. Abe told participating students that she hopes they will experience Japan at first hand with the special sensibilities of young people and tell their families and friends back home about the realities of Japan.
3. The first ladies held talks with students from the respective countries and listened intently to the descriptions of Japan as seen through the students' eyes. The students had a pleasant time interacting with the first ladies, a rare opportunity even in their home countries.

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