Turkmen Students’ participation in the MIRAI Program in Japan

Turkmenistan's youth are actively forging strong bonds of international cooperation, fostering meaningful connections and collaborations with youth from around the world. The Strategy for International Cooperation of the Youth of Turkmenistan for 2023-2030 provides a platform where Turkmen youth are embracing a global perspective through various initiatives, exchange programs, and participations in international forums. These engagements serve as catalysts for mutual understanding, cultural exchange, and the sharing of diverse ideas. 

The “MIRAI - Rule of Law” program is a short-term youth exchange program designed to promote international cooperation, cultural exchange, and mutual understanding among young professionals and students from Central Asia and the Caucasus, particularly those in the field of law. Organized by the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE), the program includes a comprehensive agenda comprising educational components, cultural experiences, and opportunities for networking. Participants engage in lectures, seminars, and site visits, gaining insights into the host country's legal system, culture, and history.

24 aspiring young students and professionals in the field of law from Central Asia and Caucasus countries enthusiastically participated in the “MIRAI Rule of Law” program organized by the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) between 16-22 January, 2024 in Tokyo, Japan. Through an engaging itinerary, the participants were exposed to a diverse range of activities, including visits to prominent legal institutions, insightful lectures, and cultural experiences. This program not only broadened their understanding of Japan's legal framework and Rule of Law but also fostered cross-cultural exchanges and meaningful connections among the participants.

Together with the representatives of the Central Asian and Caucasus countries, three students from Turkmenistan took part in this program. Two students from the International University for the Humanities and Development, namely, 4th year student of the International Public Law major Novruz Nurberdiyev, and 3rd year student of the International Relations and World Politics major Dursunjemal Yylkybayeva, and 5th year student of the International Relations and Diplomacy major Serdar Rahymov from the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan represented our country during this week-long program.

On the first day of the program, they took part in a keynote lecture organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan on the topic: “Japan’s Focus on Central Asia and the Caucasus” and “Japan's National Security Strategy.” Throughout the week-long program, attendees actively participated in a series of enlightening activities, including lectures, seminars, and master classes hosted by esteemed institutions such as the Keio University Faculty of Law, the law firm of Nishimura & Asahi, the Supreme Court of Japan, and the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFEI), International Justice Center of the Ministry of Justice of Japan.

In addition to the enriching educational program, participants of the MIRAI Rule of Law program in Japan were treated to a captivating cultural program that provided a firsthand immersion into the rich tapestry of Japan’s history, culture and traditions. They went beyond just classrooms and visited Tokyo’s famous landmarks to learn about Japan’s unique identity. Tokyo Tower, ancient Asakusa and Senso-ji temple let them feel the spiritual side of Japan, and walks through beautiful Japanese gardens showed how connected the nation is to nature. The journey featured a delightful exploration of Japan's culinary excellence, allowing participants to taste the finest Japanese cuisine, and the highlight was a Tea Ceremony where they learned about art of preparing Matcha tea. This mix of experiences, combining learning and cultural events, surely made a strong impression on the participants, making them appreciate Japan's unique identity even more.

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the program was the journey to Mount Fuji, Oshino Hakkai, and the World Heritage Centre at Mt. Fuji. Participants enjoyed the incredible view of Mt. Fuji, Japan's famous landmark. Oshino Hakkai, with its beautiful lakes, brought a sense of calm to the adventure. The World Heritage Centre provided a deeper understanding of the cultural and natural significance of this majestic mountain. This excursion not only offered a visual feast of Japan's number one calling card but also created lasting memories, blending the program's educational aspects with the breathtaking beauty of Japan's natural wonders.

On the final day of the MIRAI program, Turkmen students participated in a reporting session at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presenting the findings based on group assignments. Report covered insights into Japan, reflections on the Rule of Law program, and proposed action plans for disseminating the knowledge acquired during the MIRAI program. Additionally, the participants outlined strategies for promoting the MIRAI program, aiming to share the valuable experiences and learnings with a broader audience. In addition to the enriching educational and cultural experiences, the MIRAI program has also fostered long-lasting friendships and networking opportunities among its participants. The shared journey through Japan's legal landscape, cultural treasures, and collaborative learning has created strong bonds among individuals who are passionate about the rule of law. These connections go beyond the program's duration, providing a valuable network of like-minded professionals and students in the legal field.

The participation of Turkmen students in the “MIRAI” exchange program serves as a significant step in strengthening ties between Turkmenistan and Japan. This cultural and educational exchange not only enriches the experiences of the students but also fosters greater understanding and collaboration between the two nations. By engaging in the “MIRAI” program, Turkmen students contribute to building bridges of friendship and cooperation, promoting a shared appreciation for diverse perspectives and fostering lasting connections. Such initiatives play a crucial role in enhancing diplomatic, educational, and cultural relations, laying the foundation for continued collaboration and mutual respect between Turkmenistan and Japan.