As Kumamoto is a big prefecture, we have implemented an area system to help JETs get support with a more local focus.
The purposes of the area system are:
- To provide JETs living in the same region with opportunities to meet and socialiｓe with each other.
- To create a regional support network to help ease the transition for new JETs to living and working in Japan.
- To expedite the safety confirmation of JETs in Kumamoto in the case of natural disasters and other emergency situations.
Each area is headed by two Area Leaders, sometimes referred to as “gun” (郡) leaders. Area leaders are experienced JETs who have a detailed knowledge of their area. They are wonderful people and a great resource close to home if you have any questions. In general, Area Leaders are asked to:
- Assist PAs in confirming the safety of local JETs in the event of a natural disaster or accident.
- Plan gatherings for the local JETs to promote a stronger JET community (dinners, holiday parties, seasonal events, etc.).
- Gather and maintain information on useful local services (English-speaking doctors, bus/train/ferry services and schedules, popular/useful stores, taxi/daikou services, etc.).
- Inform JETs of local events and festivals.
- Present workshops at prefectural training events (ALT Skill Development Conference, Prefectural Orientation, etc.).
- Keep an eye on the general well-being of JETs in their area and contact a PA if any problems arise.
- Help local JETs adjust to their life in Kumamoto by answering their questions.
The JET community in Kumamoto Prefecture is divided into 9 areas:
- Kumamoto City*
- Mashiki (Kamimashiki & Shimomashiki)
*The Kumamoto City Area is comprised of SHS ALTs living in Kumamoto City and JETs working at the Prefectural Office, as all municipal JETs working in the Kumamoto City Area are part of the Kumamoto City BOE or Kumamoto City International Affairs Division.
The map below shows a picture of Kumamoto Prefecture with the major cities, towns, and villages separated.