ASCOJA Objectives

The Objectives of ASCOJA

1. To serve as a centre for continuing exchange of information and experience among the member associations on matters of common concern.
2. To undertake worthwhile projects designed to foster closer ties among the member associations for the improvement of their common cultural and material interest.
3. To coordinate the various projects and activities of the different member associations in order to ensure their successful implementation.
4. To establish working relationships among business, professional, social and civic organizations in member-associations and neighbors.
5. To strive towards the promotion of friendship and prosperity in ASEAN in close cooperation with other countries and among the member-associations and neighbors.
6. To foster close study of cultures that promote an Asian orientation in the education of ASEAN youth.

The Developments

Since 1974, the Japanese Government has played an important role in supporting and stewarding the Alumni Associations of former ASEAN students from Japan in numerous ways such as inviting them for an annual re-union meeting in Japan, funding the activities of ASCOJA including provide scholarships for the children of members of the Alumni Associations to study in Japan (in order to serve the Association after return). With the support of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Asia Japan Alumni International (ASJA) was launched in April 2000 aiming to assist international students, primarily those from ASEAN countries, offering them opportunities to experience Japanese culture for scholarship recipients. In addition, the Foreign Ministry of Japan has facilitated the activities of ASCOJA in sending their junior members for summer camp in Japan. For their part, ASCOJA members association receive youth exchange and the study tour groups from Japan, develop program for them including home-stay to foster friendship and cultural understanding between visitors and the host families.

With the good ties developed over the years , and deep attachment to Japan, most Japan alumni, regard Japan as their second home. Thus when Japan meets with critical issue like the March great tsunami, all Japan alumni Chapters in ASEAN have expressed their grave concern and feeling this disaster as affecting to them and their home accordingly. They were actively launched donation campaigns to assist the victims in Japan. Some of them joined volunteer team to assist the victims at the site. Similarly, their Japanese counterparts were actively display a bond of solidarity in the events that disaster occurred in its neighbor countries. The recent worst flood in Thailand was a clear evident that the Japanese both private and Government sectors were the most active group to provide immediate relief assistance, rescue team and cash contribution to the victims in Thailand.

It has to mention that as of today, over 82,000 individuals (comprising some 26,000 university graduates and 56,000 former research students) from ASEAN have studied in Japan, they returned home and scattering all around ASEAN region. They have become important human resources that have greatly contributed to their national developments with knowledge obtained from their studies in Japan. Several of them are holding important positions in both public and private sectors that have created well being and improved the quality of life of the population in their countries.

An extremely encouraging development of the long history of cooperation and assistants received from ASJA to ASCOJA is not only building good friendship between people of ASEAN and Japan, it also contributed to a closer relationship among members of ASCOJA countries.