Kizuna which means ‘Bonds of Friendship’ is a unique project designed to help build connections between the youths of Japan and the youths of 14 Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Under this project, high school and university students from around the Pacific region were provided with fully-funded two-week study tour to Japan. The first batches of students from Cook Islands, Niue, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu, Palau, Kiribati and Tuvalu have returned from Japan. Currently, participants from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and the Solomon Islands are under-going their trip and the group were accorded with a welcome dinner organized by their respective embassies in Japan on Monday evening, 3 December 2012.
Representatives from the Embassies of Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea and Fiji took turns each in giving short speeches of welcome as well as encougarements to the group. For Fiji Embassy, Counsellor Korovou urged the youths to take advantage of all the opportunities and exposure provided through this programme. They must strive to learn a lot from their Japanese counterparts as the Kizuna project is a platform for the Pacific Island countries to develop their human resources capacity and skills. All the speakers for the evening empahasized to the pacific youths the need to learn a lot from the Japanese experience as they are not only well advanced technologically but their virtue of respect for another and discipline ranks them very high globally.