Pan-Asian conference inspires launch of alumni network in Japan
The first ever Japan Chevening Alumni Network (JCAN) event took place on 26 April 2016 in Tokyo. Over 30 alumni gathered at Watahan Ginza Gallery for an evening of professional networking, dialogue, and discovery.
Julia Longbottom, Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Tokyo, was guest of honour in acknowledgement of the support the British Embassy had given in the development of the new association.
The idea for JCAN originated from a small group of Japanese Chevening Alumni who were inspired to create their own official group after attending the Asia Chevening Alumni Networking (ACAN) event in Seoul, South Korea, in September 2015. There, they discussed how alumni networking activities in other Asian countries occured on a more frequent basis and on a larger scale than in Japan.
After the event, six participants from Japan proposed establishing a Chevening Alumni Association in Japan and committed to working as a preparatory committee to represent the voices of alumni members. Among these was Itsushi Tachi, the leader of the preparatory committee and a 1986/1987 alumnus who completed his MSc in Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Itsushi and fellow organising committee members hope that the network will connect Japanese Chevening Alumni within a thriving regional alumni community and connect Chevening Alumni in Japan with other alumni associations across the world. The group also aims raise the profile of Chevening Scholarships and of the UK in Japan.
Yasuhiro Uozumi, one of the eight founding committee members, spoke of JCAN's ambitions: 'This first assembly in Japan celebrated huge success and all attendees had a fantastic time. With high ambitions, JCAN wants to grow into a strong group and in future host the all Asia alumni network meeting in Tokyo. I was delighted to attend the first assembly of JCAN. This event made me recall my wonderful days in the UK.'
You can keep up with JCAN's activities on Facebook: www.facebook.com/japanCAN