Consulate-General of Japan in Houston



December 10, 2011

Returning JET & JUSTE Luncheon Reception

On Saturday, December 10, 2011, Consul-General Jota Yamamoto hosted a luncheon at the Consul-General’s residence to welcome the five recent returnees of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program and the 14 participants of the Japan-United States Training Exchange (JUSTE) Program who are studying English-training methods in Austin, Texas. About 70 guests joined the celebration, including JET Program alumni and supporters, Japanese teachers and members of the Japan-America Society of Houston.

At the reception, Consul-General Yamamoto offered greeting remarks. Later, the five returning JET Participants gave short speeches highlighting their experiences living in Japan and JUSTE members narrated a slideshow about their experiences during an intensive 6-month training course at the University of Texas in Austin.

Shree Kurlekar, Executive Director of the Japan-America Society of Houston and President of the JET Alumni Association International (JETAAi) discussed a recent meeting of the international alumni which was held in Tokyo in October of 2011. Ms. Kurlekar’s presentation focused on the volunteer efforts of the JETAAi group in the damaged town of Rikuzentakata  as well as disaster relief fundraising efforts by the JET alumni around the country.

The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program is aimed at grass-roots international exchange between Japan and other nations, placing foreign university graduates in schools and local government offices all over Japan. Now in its 25th year, the JET Program has an alumni network of more than 26,000 people in the United States. Beyond the program, JET alumni continue to contribute to the promotion of cultural exchange between the U.S. and Japan.

Alumni in the states of Texas and Oklahoma are organized as Texoma JET Alumni Association ( If you are a JET alumnus in the Texoma region, please get involved through the Texoma JETAA website.

For information on the JET Program, please visit the official website at the United States Embassy of Japan ( Applications and deadlines for the 2012 departure have already passed, but potential applicants can still read through the information posted to get a strong idea of the requirements. Please check the local Consulate website for more information on the next recruiting season which will begin in October of 2012.

The Japan-U.S. Training and Exchange (JUSTE) Program for English Language Teachers was created after the November 2010 Summit meeting, “Strengthening the U.S.-Japan exchange for deepening the U.S.-Japan Alliance.” The JUSTE Program was a main idea to come out of the meeting and its primary purpose is to promote mutual understanding in a wide spectrum for the deepening of the U.S.-Japan Alliance. In its inaugural year, the JUSTE Program sent 96 Japanese English teachers to participate in training at American colleges to better understand the United States through exchanges and home stay opportunities throughout the country.

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2011 JET Returnee


JUSTE Program Participants


Group photo of Reception Participants