Young Diplomats In Training For Fukuoka

Carol Chang
Wednesday - May 05, 2010
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Kristen Izuo (back, left) and Calais Nobuhara (back, right) aim for Japan with Josh Nakanishi, Reyn Tao, Jonah Yamato and Mari Alice Shaw. Photo from JASH.

Two area keiki are in training as Junior Ambassadors to the Asian-Pacific Children’s Convention, set for this summer in Fukuoka, Japan.

Kristen Izuo of Hawaii Kai and Calais Nobuhara of Aina Haina are among six 11-year-olds picked by Japan-American Society of Hawaii to represent the state at the annual gathering July 16-27.

Nobuhara of Punahou and Izuo of Iolani have all travel and touring expenses paid for by JASH and the APCC.

“Because of budget cuts,we could pick only six instead of eight like last year,” said Marsha Yokomichi of JASH. “We wanted to pick 12 - they’re all very bright kids.”


During a full day of interviews and team activities, the judges watched for “a willingness to learn about new cultures"as well as interaction with others,academic achievement and cultural skills. As representatives of Hawaii, they will first attend a Global Exchange Camp with 220 other delegates from 44 countries and cities throughout the Asia-Pacific region, followed by 10 days in a host home.

Their parents are not allowed to accompany them, since the exchange is designed to “promote international relationships between children so that they will become adults with a strong social responsibility for the world.”

Aina Haina Elementary’s Hawaiian studies teacher, makua Dori Kim, also is teaching them a hula to do at the convention.

Both Kim and Nobuhara hosted Fukuoka exchange students during their recent five-night home stay in Honolulu.


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