Tonga Students inspired from Sakura Science High School Program

Tonga’s delegation to the Sakura Science High School Program of Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science, accompanied by representatives of the Ministry of Education of Tonga paid a courtesy call on H.E Excellency Mr. Yukio Numata, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kingdom of Tonga on Wednesday 14 and Friday 29, July 2016.

The delegation after returning from Japan shared their knowledge and first hand experiences in Tokyo and were highly inspired by lectures during the Program. A lecture by Professor Jin Akiyama known as “The Reggae Professor” inspired Tonga’s delegation in teaching Maths with connecting to other fields such as music. The opportunity to participate in a hands-on chemistry experiment by Professor Hideki Shirakawa, winner of the 2000 Noble Prize in Chemistry and a lecture by Professor Ryoji Noyori, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, left the students to enjoy chemistry more and eager to learn more.

Japan’s high technology and clean environment were also praised by the delegation where they admired the dedication and commitments by the people of Japan, in waste disposal managements.

The Sakura Science High School Program started in 2014 by Japan Science and Technology Agency, JST which is one of the core institution responsible for the implementation of science and technology policy in Japan. The Program is targeted at aspiring young scientists of Asian and Pacific Region and this year was the first time for Tonga to join the program. Over 100 students and their supervisors participated this time, including 5 high school students and 1 associate teacher from Tonga, among almost 50 participants of Pacific Island countries.

During their stay from July 15-24, in Tokyo they enjoyed not only continued offered variety of science and technology-related experience, including visits to Sony ExploraScience at Odaiba; Tokyo University of Science, Kagurazaka Campus; Shibaura Institute of Technology; Tokai University Takanawadai Junior & Senior High School; Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology; Japan’s Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, but also cultural tours to Aqua City Odaiba, Asakusa, Meiji Jingu, Akihabara, Harajuku, Endo-Tokyo Museum and the Tokyo Tower.