Steven Horowitz, founder of JetWit.com, brings us this important message about the uncertain future of the JET Programme. It seems that the JET Programme is in danger of being cut back or even eliminated. Please read and let’s discuss what we can do!
In case you haven’t heard, the JET Program and JETAA are on the chopping block.
The Japanese government is in budget cutting mode and poised to make major cuts and changes to the JET Program. To learn more, read Jim Gannon’s piece on JetWit.com (which I asked him to write after having lunch with him the other day and getting his well-informed explanation as to what’s going on in Japan):
JET ROI: “JET on the Chopping Block”
It doesn’t have to proceed as currently planned, however. Perhaps the biggest challenge faced is that Japanese taxpayers and Japanese budget cutters have a very limited understanding of all of the ways that JETs and JET alumni have provided significant economic, diplomatic and other benefits to Japan. As far as they know, we just taught a little English and drank a lot of beer. If you’ve been a member of this group for a while or a JetWit reader, however, you know there’s a heck of a lot more going on.
There’s an army of JET alum translators/interpreters. There are JET alums who have written books, made films, written for Japanese and Japan-related publications. There are JET alums working for Japanese companies, in Consulates, in Japan-America Societies. JET alums who have started new businesses that increase Japan’s business with the rest of the world. Tour guides. JET alums in politics and influential government positions. Manga/anime distributors. New York Yankee translators. And I’m just scratching the surface.
It’s up to the JET alumni community to make its voice heard and make the case. So if you have a good example or way of demonstrating Japan’s return on investment, feel free to submit it to JetWit (via me). Or if you have a good idea for a way to gather other examples and help the cause, let me know and I can post a request on JetWit (i.e., crowd-sourcing).
My hope is that JetWit can serve as a clearing house for info and ideas to get picked up by JETAA Chapters and JET alums and used by Japanese govt officials who need help making the case as well as by journalists and media in need of additional information about the benefits accruing from Japan’s investment in the JET Program.
Steven Horowitz (Aichi-ken, 1992-94)
stevenwaseda (at) jetwit (dot) com