JET Program Welcome Back & 30th Anniversary Reception

On November 18, 2016, the JET Program Welcome Back & 30th Anniversary Reception was held at the Consul General’s Official Residence. The reception was co-hosted by the Consul General’s office and the Pacific Northwest JET Alumni Association (PNWJETAA). It was an opportunity to celebrate the safe return and future success of JET Program participants who recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, and for local JET alumni to interact with Japan-related organizations, sister city associations, and educators. It also commemorated the 30th anniversary of the JET Program. 

Consul General Masahiro Omura opened the program with a speech welcoming the newly-returned JETs. He also expressed his gratitude to PNWJETAA for their continued service, and awarded them with the Consul General’s Commendation.  PNWJETAA president, Ms. Zung Do, expressed gratitude on behalf of the organization, and gave a speech highlighting alumni activities.

Following this, Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim gave a short greeting. She then read a Mayoral Proclamation on behalf of Mayor Ed Murray, declaring November 18, 2016 to be Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program Day in the City of Seattle. Following self-introductions by 8 newly returned JET alumni, there was a short greeting and toast by Mr. Schuyler Hoss, Director of International Relations and Protocol for the Office of Washington Governor Jay Inslee, recognizing the importance of JET in nurturing a common bond between cultures.
Later in the evening, Mr. Ryan Hart, PNWJETAA member and former JETAA International Vice Chair, spoke to the attendees about the 30th Anniversary Commemorative Ceremony and Annual Meeting, which was held in Tokyo earlier this month. The Program concluded with a round of trivia by PNWJETAA, giving the guests in attendance a chance to test their knowledge of the JET Program and Japanese culture.