The Japan – Taiwan High School Students Summit, an international exchange event for high school students in Tokyo, Taipei and Kaohsiung, was held in a conference room in the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office, from 14:30 to 16:30 on Wednesday, August 8th, 2018. Approximately 50 students from Japan and Taiwan attended the event.
This summit was a trial event, following the memorandum signed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, the Taipei Education Bureau and the Kaohsiung Education Bureau, in December 2016.
On the day of the summit, students representing the following schools were in attendance. Also attending, were representatives from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Japan, who helped organize the event.
[Tokyo Metropolitan Area]
Tokyo Metropolitan Mita High School, Tokyo Metropolitan Suginami High School, Tokyo Metropolitan Hakuo Senior High School, Tokyo Metropolitan Machida High School, Tokyo Metropolitan Musashinokita Senior High School, Tokyo Metropolitan Higashi-Kurume Sogo Senior High School
[Taipei and Kaohsiung]
Taipei Municipal Nan Gang High School, Kaohsiung Municipal Kaohsiung Girls' Senior High School, Kaohsiung Municipal Fu Cheng Senior High School, Kaohsiung Municipal Siaogang Senior High School
At the beginning of the summit, Mr. Shih-Ying Lin, Director of the Education Division Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan, and Mr. Keizo Nakai, Director General of the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, gave an address.
Mr. Shih-Ying Lin related the main purposes of the event to us – furthering and deepening the cultural exchange between Taipei, Kaohsiung and Tokyo’s high school students, and forming further and more meaningful communication between each of the cities’ students.
Mr. Nakai spoke of the many wonderful opportunities for cultural exchange between Taiwan's and Tokyo's schools, thanks to school trips and other initiatives up until this point. He hopes that the opportunity for cultural exchange brought about by the summit will allow the attendees to learn more about each other's countries, and that it will be a useful experience for cultural exchanges in the future, and for various other learning initiatives and activities.
Afterwards, the students of each school introduced themselves to one another. For the purposes of the summit, the students were split into groups of eight – roughly four students from Taiwan and four from Japan in each group. The students communicated using English to get to know one another. Next, as an icebreaking activity, there was a quiz with questions about Taiwan and Japan. The winning team received a memorial gift from each of the two countries.
Following the quiz, the groups were given themes for the main event, which were group discussions about "the charm of Tokyo" and "the charm of Taipei and Kaohsiung”. The themes were "traditional culture", "food", "festivals", "sightseeing spots", "manners and customs" and "current fashions". The Japanese and Taiwanese students were free to raise their points and exchange opinions regarding each of the themes, and to discuss these in their groups. The students made materials for a presentation using craft paper, based on the content of their discussions. In presenting the results of their group discussions, the students worked together to use English to explain their findings and to deepen their understanding of their different cultures and lifestyles.