Twenty-four U.S. teachers returned home July 1 after a fruitful 15-day stay in Japan. The visit included one-week host city programs in Kushiro City, Hokkaido prefecture, and Hashimoto City, Wakayama prefecture, where the American teachers deepened mutual understanding through homestays and exchanges with their Japanese counterparts and students and learned "best practices"of Education for Sustainable Development(ESD） with a focus on environmental education and community-based activities.
They reconvened in Tokyo for the Second Joint Conference (June 27-29) with twenty-four Japanese teachers who had visited the U. S. this past spring. Within this network, the teachers collaborated to develop joint projects on various themes of ESD to be implemented in their home schools and communities. Six program alumni shared projects developed in previous years'programs and advised current year participants on project planning.
On the final day of the conference, groups of Japanese and American teachers introduced more than ten joint projects, including a “Time Capsule” project, a book project entitled "Investigation of Beauty",a project on "Food across Cultures", a video project titled "Joining Hands", and a project focused on environmental protection. The projects presented at the conference are expected to achieve fruition within the next six to twelve months, but it is also hoped that they will continue or expand in the years to come.