In order to commemorate the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan (September 21st, 1973 to September 21st, 2023), Thu Dau Mot University has partnered with the Asian Association of Education and Exchange to organize the Vietnam-Japan Youth Exchange Program 2023 (Vietnam-Japan Exchange Project VJEP 2023).
On the morning of September 5th
, 2023, the opening ceremony of the program took place at Thu Dau Mot University. The opening ceremony was attended by Ms. Ha Thanh - Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs of Binh Duong province, and PhD. Nguyen Thanh Binh - Vice-Chairman of the Vietnam-Japan Friendship Conference in Binh Duong province, representatives of the province and universities in the province. On the Japanese side is Mr. Seki Akinori – President of the Asian Association of Education and Exchange, with instructors and seven students from universities in Japan. On the side of Thu Dau Mot University, Dr. Nguyen Quoc Cuong - Rector, representative of the leadership of the functional units, and more than 200 students of the university participated in the opening ceremony. This ceremony was the beginning of the series of 10 days-activities which would support students enrolling in the program have an in-dept cultural, academic, and practical experience.
Vietnam-Japan Youth Exchange Program VJEP 2023 is a part of a series of events under the province's foreign affairs program 2023, contributing to strengthening cooperation between the Pacific and Japanese localities and partners. The program lasted 10 days from September 4th to September 14th, 2023, with the participation of seven students from Japan, and nine students from schools in Binh Duong including Thu Dau Mot University, Vietnam Germany University, and East International University. Speaking about the significance of the program, Dr. Nguyen Quoc Cuong said. “The VJEP program was organized for the first time in 2013 and has become a regular international exchange program between Japanese and Vietnamese universities.”
“VJEP2023 is a special occasion as it marks the 10th anniversary of the VJEP program and the 50th year of Vietnam-Japan relations. The program will also be a bridge to strengthen the friendly relationship between two nations, the relationship between Vietnamese and Japanese students, which will showcase the dynamism, hospitality and appetite of the people of the Pacific,” Dr. Nguyen Quoc Cuong said.
Following the successes of previous years, this year’s main theme is “Students with the Circular Economy” which demonstrates the importance of economic, environmental and social sustainability. Students participating in the program would take part in academic activities based on the circular economy theme, and they would also join in cultural interaction activities to learn about the cultural heritage characteristics of Vietnam in general and the Pacific in particular. Besides the knowledge gained from the program, students enrolled for VJEP 2023 would be able to develop their communication, problem-solving, presentation, and team management skill sets. Inheriting, developing and uplifting the friendly cooperation between the two nations, Mr. Seki Akinori believed that the VJEP 2023 program would be more massive than just organizing discussions between two groups of students from Vietnam and Japan. The main goal is to create meaningful values together through the theme “Circular Economy”.
“VJEP is not just a place for student exchanges, but it is a beacon of solidarity, an embodiment of mutual respect, and a testimony to the spirit of international cooperations. The presence of all of us today is like we are standing in front of the intersection of history and opportunity. We are proud of the consolidated friendship and cohesion that Japan and Vietnam have built over the past five decades. This rich history has paved the way for us to meet, prepare ourselves to engage in cultural exchanges, and embark on a journey of learning and common development." - Mr. Seki Akinori said.
With the theme “Students with the Circular Economy”, VJEP 2023’s 10-day journey is designed with meaningful activities, not only bringing valuable experiences to the participants, but also making practical contributions to the local community. Besides the training and cultural exchange sessions organized at Thu Dau Mot University, exchange students would have time to visit and experience making products in the traditional craft villages of the province such as Tuong Binh Hiep lacquering village, Lai Thieu Ceramic Village. In addition, they would visit the process of cultivation grape fruits in Bach Dang Island, practice making handcrafts with leaves and creating moon lanterns with recycled materials. Lastly, the Vietnamese-Japanese student group would also grant scholarships to students at Huynh Van Luy secondary school.