About 80 students attended Japan@MIT on February 17 to learn more about what’s happening  at MIT that’s related to Japan including opportunities to go to Japan for an internship, research or study abroad; studying the Japanese language at MIT; and taking classes on the history and culture of Japan.

A special guest speaker was Consul General Suzuki from the Consulate General of Japan in Boston who spoke about the importance of US-Japan relations and described the work of the consulate. Other speakers included Prof. Hiromu Nagahara who talked about Japanese culture-courses and the Japanese Minor; Takako Aikawa, Senior Lecturer in Japanese, who discussed the Japanese language curriculum at MIT; and Christine Pilcavage, Managing Director of MIT Japan Program @MISTI, who discussed internship programs. Additionally, two members from MIT’s Language Conversation Exchange came to talk about their activities.

The MIT Japan Program has sent over 1100 students for internship opportunities since the program’s inception in 1981. The pandemic closed Japanese borders. Now that the borders have opened back up, 25 students are scheduled to go to Japan this summer to experience internship/research at universities, startups and companies.

Interest in Japan is also reflected in enrollments in language classes. Over 100 students at MIT are currently enrolled in Japanese language or culture classes.

The event’s aim was to help cultivate a community of people at MIT interested in Japan and the Japanese language.