Every year the Government of Japan offers scholarships to Pakistanis who wish to study in Japan in various disciplines under the MEXT (Monbukagakusho – Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) Scholarship Programme, after a selection process.
After all formalities are completed, the ambassador and his wife regularly host a get together at the residence before the awardees leave to attend their courses. This not only gives them a chance to interact with the embassy staff but other alumni who are present on the occasion and can give them a fair idea of what to expect, as well as some tips on how to behave in country with a different cultural milieu.
Ambassador and Mrs. Kurai hosted a reception in honour of five men and two women who have been granted scholarships to pursue their post graduate studies in Japanese universities, which was attended by members of the MEXT Alumni Association of Pakistan (MAAP)
Welcoming the gathering, Ambassador Kurai informed that more than 250 Pakistanis have availed this scholarship so far, then addressed the grantees, thanking them for showing interest in studying in Japan. “Life in Japan is quite different from that of Pakistan. For instance, you will see latest technology and machinery everywhere, yet at the same time you will see Japanese people conserving traditional customs and practices,” he said. “Sometimes, you might find difficulties in adapting to this new environment but I am certain that the hospitality and friendship of Japanese people will get you through any adjustments which you need to make.”
Urging them to utilize their skills in Pakistan after completing their studies so they can contribute toward the development of Pakistan in cooperation with the Japanese Government, companies and people, he said it would be appreciated if they would join MAAP to further promote the strong ties between the people of Japan and Pakistan. “I would like to appreciate MAAP’s continuous efforts and their cooperation in the embassy’s various cultural and educational activities.”
He concluded by congratulating the scholarship grantees and wished them the best of luck for the future, adding “I hope that today’s reception will be a good opportunity for you to learn about Japan and prepare for your stay there. Have a good evening and thank you for coming.”
After the grantees had introduced themselves, president MAAP, Khalid — congratulated them and thanked the Japanese government on behalf of all Pakistanis for providing students a chance to study in their country. “After 41 years I can honestly say that it was the best decision of my life to study in Japan,” he said. “Make the best use of your stay in this wonderful country; work hard at your studies and enjoy the different aspects of life in Japan with a positive and appreciative approach.” He concluded by asking members of MAAP to wish the grantees good luck in Japanese which they did with an enthusiastic, “Gambatte Kudasai.”
Dinner with Japanese and Pakistani cuisine was served and guests enjoyed interacting with each other while they ate, some staying inside while others went out on the terrace where seating was available.