Internship program provides cross-cultural experience for college students
CAMP ZAMA, Japan -- U.S. Army Garrison Japan welcomed 12 Japanese college students to participate in the annual summer internship program, which began Aug. 1 on the installation.
The month-long program offers various opportunities to learn about U.S. Army in Japan via hands-on assignments, according to Mikako Ohno, information and editorial specialist for USAG Japan Public Affairs and intern program coordinator.
Ohno said the program is announced annually on USAG Japan's Facebook page (Japanese version) and gives students a chance to experience interactions with military and Civilian personnel as the students accomplish projects valuable to cross-cultural exchanges between the U.S. and Japan.
"We want to give these students experiences to help them become global figures who can contribute to better relations between the U.S., Japan and the world," she said.
Yuya Ichikawa and Takahiro Asatsuma, health promotion interns for the Public Health Command-Pacific, performed presentations to PHC-P employees about Japanese and American holidays, respectively.
Lt. Col. Johnny King, director of health promotion and wellness for PHC-P, said this project is beneficial among the command's American and Japanese employees, creating a better understanding and appreciation of the cultures.
"I'm really excited about this presentation because I think it's a great chance for me to practice my public speaking and English," said Ichikawa.
These interns presented basic info regarding the traditional and historical aspects to the culture, providing points necessary to understanding the significance of each holiday.
"I had a great time talking with Soldiers who work here, and I think it's really important that we communicate and share opinions" said Takahiro.
Kanade Ueno, intern at the Camp Zama Library, said she is currently working on a project to find English travel books about Japan for the library's collection.
James Lacombe, supervisory librarian, said this project is of great value because community members on Camp Zama will have more resources and not feel isolated.
Hideyuki Shishido, bilateral engagement intern for USARJ's G5, said he came to intern at Camp Zama because, as a native of Zama City, he wants to contribute to bilateral engagement between Camp Zama and the city that surrounds it.
Shishido said he helps translate many materials from English to Japanese and hopes to work for Zama City after college and continue working with Camp Zama.
"I believe one of the problems we have here is that most Japanese people don't know much about Camp Zama," he said.
"I think events and programs like this will be a great way for us to interact, and I would love to contribute some way in the future."