A.C.E. President Woodward in Japan and Korea

Staff wearing traditional ancient palace garb and President Woodward in a typical Okinawa shirt for business or casual wear, a gift from Dr. Oshiro of Eiken.

Staff in traditional ancient palace garb, President Woodward in a typical Okinawa shirt for business or casual wear, a gift.

President David Woodward swept through Asia last month to see valued friends and partners in three countries and eight cities.   In the Hawaii-like air of Okinawa, Japan, he met with Mr. Yoskue Negami at The Eiken Foundation.  A.C.E. is the proud North American Liaison Office for Eiken, administers of their Test of Practical English proficiency at our Los Angeles satellite office, and welcomed a group of English teacher trainees in 2012. Gathering updates and meeting with management, our gracious hosts also made time for visits to Okinawa Castle and the WWII Memorial.

Mr. Negami traveled to Kyoto with Woodward to meet the city’s Board of Education to discuss a summer 2013 youth program.  The capital of Japan through 1869, Kyoto has otera (temples) going back centuries before that.  No visit would be complete without touring these buildings erected without the use of nails and their manicured landscapes.

Kyoto wooden buildings.

Kyoto wooden buildings.

In Tokyo, A.C.E. Japan President Shinji Moriyama joined Woodward to see Japan’s Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Technology (MEXT), then A.C.E. Japan staff entered a Shinjuku neighborhood restaurant for a celebration.  Next stop in Japan’s current day capital was a Chapel meeting with Joseph Poulesheik of Tokyo Christian University (TCU), then a welcome from Provost Takanori Kobayashi.  TCU is the premier evangelical higher learning institution in Japan and a recognized leader across the Asia region.  A.C.E. cherishes the decades of summers TCU students have studied at the A.C.E. Language Institute at Seattle Pacific University.  The afternoon was spent at the Japanese American Friendship Mission, another long term partner, to recap 2012 and develop 2013.

Geometric silver construction in Seoul.

Geometric silver construction in Seoul.

On to Korea to Gangwon International Language Institute. Ganwon Province Superintendant of Education Syeung-Myeung Choi graciously traveled to the airport and exchanged good conversation with President Woodward  in the car to Yangyang.  Gangwon Province is a paragon of training and prioritizes education in the allocation of government resources.  Minster of Education Mr. Byeong Hee Min talked about benchmarks for upcoming sessions in winter and summer 2013 and the high standards of A.C.E.  A.C.E. Senior Advisor Howard Kwon traveled back to Seoul for meetings with our Global Partners, those who recruit students from Korea for the A.C.E. Language Institutes at Seattle Pacific University, Montana State University, Saint Francis University, and The University of Rhode Island.

At the end of two weeks, Woodward shared with staff and motivated departments to ramp up efforts in the coming months for these new groups.   We look forward to seeing our partners in person next summer as friends stretching back to our founding usher in our 40th year of making the world your community.

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