Who are we?
Shimane AJET is a volunteer group that works for the JET community based in Shimane Prefecture, Japan. We are affiliated with, though not directly run by, National AJET.
National AJET is “an independent, government relations organization that supports JET Programme participants”. Within National AJET, the prefectures are arranged into ‘blocks’ to best represent the voices and concerns of all JET participants. Each block has an elected ‘block representative’. Shimane, along with Hiroshima, Okayama, Yamaguchi, and Tottori, is a member of Block 9; the Chugoku region. You can find more information, such as news and events, on the official Block 9 Facebook page.
What does Shimane AJET do?
Our work can be roughly divided into ‘serious’ and ‘fun’.
The ‘serious’: One of our driving aims is to promote a stronger relationship between the JET and Japanese communities in Shimane. One of the ways we try to achieve this is by hosting various ‘mixer’ events and activities throughout the year around the prefecture. These events give everyone a chance to relax and socialise in a friendly, casual atmosphere.
We also have a charitable wing called the Shimane English Education Fund (SEEF). We raise money from the JET community and friends and use this to award financial scholarships to students wishing to study English abroad. The SEEF also funds an English magazine, the Shimane Times, which is written by students from all over the prefecture.
In 2011, in response to the devastation caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake, we planned, organised and completed a Charity Hike of the largest mountain in Shimane. More than 100 people, both foreign and Japanese, took part and we raised over 1.71 million yen (around US$21,000) from all over the world. The costs of the event were paid for by Shimane AJET, allowing us to send 100% of the money raised to two charities; the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Tohoku Kids Foundation.
The ‘fun’: Throughout the year we organise parties, road trips, sightseeing tours, BBQs, weekends away, and a host of other activities to entertain our group.
More details of these can be found on our Facebook page.