U.S. – Japan POW Friendship Program Co- Coordinator

Project Title U.S. – Japan POW Friendship Program Co- Coordinator
Project Summary Coordinate the annual U.S - Japan POW Friendship Program.
Country United States
Agency Department of State
DoS Office EAP/J
Post N/A
Section N/A
Number of Interns 2
Project Description

Virtual Student Foreign Service volunteers will co-coordinate the U.S. – Japan POW Friendship Program. Since 2010, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sponsored groups of former Prisoners of War (POWs) and their caretakers to travel to Japan as a gesture of healing and reconciliation. Under the program, the group meets with Japanese government officials and citizen groups and visits WWII memorial sites. Many of the POWs have the opportunity to visit their former prison and labor camps.

Required Skills or Interests
Additional Information

Co-Coordinators of the U.S. – Japan POW Friendship Program would be expected to:

1) Collaborate with NGOs, veteran organizations, and others as needed to identify eligible candidates and extend invitations to potential program participants.
2) Explain all aspects of the POW Reconciliation Program, including:
a. History of the U.S. – Japan POW Reconciliation Program
b. Notable government stakeholders involved in the program
c. Success of past POW Reconciliation Programs
d. Potential benefits involved in participating in the program
3) Guide program participants through the application process, including:
a. Interviewing participants about their experiences as POWs in Japan, including preparing bios for each participant.
b. Collecting logistical information from POW participants such as wheelchair and health needs, addresses, departure cities, and helping them to identify an appropriate person to travel with them as caregiver.
c. Communicating program logistics to participants.
4) Respond to queries from POWs regarding travel concerns, length of the program, program activities, the process of applying for passports, logistics, etc.
5) Act as a liaison between the program participants, the Department of State’s Office of Japanese Affairs, and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ensure that all parties involved are kept up to date with the latest information regarding:
a. Program developments
b. Concerns regarding the candidate’s health, interests, free-time, travel ability etc.
6) Partner with the other eintern(s), the State Department coordinator, and the NGO coordinator complete the work efficiently.
7) Commit to support the U.S. – Japan POW Friendship Program from mid-May through the end of November, 2017.
a. Co-coordinators will commit to approximately 10 hours of work per week from mid-May through the end of November.
b. Work hours can fluctuate depending on progress made as the trip approaches. Trips are generally held in October, but this varies year to year. There will be some wrap-up work to do after participants return, but the busiest period is June through October.

The Office of Japanese Affairs will be available at all times to provide technical and logistical support to the VSFS co-coordinators. Questions regarding logistical or technical support can be directed to the Japan Desk point-of-contact for the POW Friendship Program.

Given that these elderly candidates (all the former POWs are now in their 90s) will require assistance, POW co-coordinators are expected to be courteous and patient.

Candidates must be available from May 2017 through November 2017; candidates who graduate prior to that date will not be considered. Program participants may be introduced to a number of individuals with equity in the project, including officials from the Embassy of Japan, the American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor Memorial Society, and the U.S. Department of State.