Youth Exchange: JET Programme
JET Programme stands for Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme. This program is operated through a partnership between the governmental bodies of Japan[Note] and local governments, and invites young people around the world to provide them opportunities to teach languages, sports, etc., in elementary, junior-high and high schools in Japan, and to work in local governments and related organizations in order to promote international exchange in local communities.
JET participants are offered a chance to have a hands-on experience working in close relations with local communities and residents through schools and municipal bodies in Japan. After returning to their home countries, they play active roles in various fields as a pro-Japan group of a new kind which has a different orientation from researchers on Japan. They thereby act as a valuable bridge between Japan and their home countries. Some members are currently working as diplomats in the foreign missions of Japan.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan recruits and screens applicants through Japanese overseas missions. Additionally, it supports JET alumni organizations to ensure that former JET participants keep in close touch with Japan.
[Note] Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR)
The JET alumni association is called JETAA (JET Programme Alumni Association). It originated out of the individual alumni associations initiated by former JET participants in their home countries and regions. As of December, 2018, JETAA has 52 branches around the world with about 23,000 members. It is a major organization of Japanophiles. Members are engaged in various grassroots activities to promote friendly relationships between Japan and their home countries, and are also involved in activities to help Japanese overseas missions publicize the JET Programme and process applications.