The Fourth "Online Youth Forum" meeting

On December 16 (Alaska time), the 4th "Online Youth Forum" was held with a total of 10 participants. The breakdown was 4 high school/university students, 1 observer (sister city coordinator), 1 interpreter living in Chitose, 1 lecturer, and 3 people from the Consular Office (Mr. Aniya, Ms. Junko Suzuki-Hovey, Mr. Daniel Holayter) participated.
Mr. Aniya opened the meeting by welcoming the participants then introduced Consular Office staff members, an interpreter, and the lecturer, Mr. Tony Hatano-Worrell.
Mr. Worrell’s relationship with Kanayama Town dates back to 1992, when he at the age of 26 guided a group from there around Ketchikan. After that, for 29 years, he has been involved in the sister city exchange between Gero City (Kanayama Town) and Ketchikan. Mr. Worrell said, that in studying English, it is more important to learn, through making many mistakes, how to speak correctly while actually interacting with foreigners, rather than trying to learn a lot of words or speak fluently. When preparing the Kanayama students for visiting Ketchikan, they focused on how to communicate (sometimes using gestures) with the other person in specific and concrete situations. After doing so, the number of inquiries from Ketchikan host families, which had been frequent during previous exchanges, decreased sharply. Attendees asked questions such as whether Mr. Worrell's son and daughter are involved in international exchange, and whether there are any Japanese foods that he dislikes.
During the "free discussion" segment, attendees from Mombetsu City explained the "Mombetsu Touch" phenomena, wherein air travel from Haneda to Okhotsk Mombetsu Airport in Hokkaido and back straight away just to obtain premium air miles as an example of “hometown pride.” A student from Anchorage explained how he participated in the kendo exam held in Seattle and obtained a level 3 certification as his "best accomplishment of the year," and how nervous he was when he witnessed more than 400 students at the assessment venue.
After that, two videos were introduced as examples of entries for "The Presentations" contest to be held on March 3, 2023. In addition, a video introducing the Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage and staff members created by Ms. Suzuki, staff member, was shown. Mr. Aniya introduced the “participation guidelines” and prizes for "The Presentations" (“participation guidelines” and prize announcements will be posted on this website and Facebook soon).
Furthermore, it was confirmed that the Online Youth Forum meetings will be held on January 27 and February 24 (Alaska time) next year.
Click here for details on "The Presentations".
Students who wish to participate in the next forum, please contact the consular office email ( After receiving the email, we will send you a Zoom invitation and agenda a few days before the forum. 
We are looking forward to your participation!
Consular Office of Japan in Anchorage