Okayama University


Student under the Discovery Program for Global Learners participates in the International Speech Contest in Japanese

June 17, 2019

The 60th International Speech Contest in Japanese, competed in by foreigners whose native language is not Japanese, was held on June 1 at the Hachinohe City Public Hall in Aomori Prefecture. Ms. Kolamunna Thilini Bhagya from Ceylon, Sri Lanka, a second-year student under Okayama University’s Discovery Program for Global Learners, participated as a contestant.

She explained the little-known “deep relationship” between Japan and Sri Lanka, the countries her late grandfather loved, as “friends grateful to each other.” The divide-and-rule plan of Japan after World War II was blocked by the representative of the then Ceylon. Japan provided support to Sri Lanka when it suffered damage from the Indian Ocean tsunami that occurred in December 2004. Referring to these facts, she presented her opinions on the mutual gratitude between the two countries. Finally, she expressed her heartfelt appreciation to her home country and Japan, and concluded her speech by encouraging the audience to move forward together to achieve world peace and happiness. Twelve speakers from 11 countries, who survived the preliminary contest competed in by 123 applicants from 29 countries/regions, took part in the contest.

The Discovery Program for Global Learners is a B.A. program that started in October 2017, under which international students from all over the world, Japanese students who studied abroad, and students who graduated from domestic high schools study together, using English as a common language. The program focuses on language education, and academic Japanese teachers supported preparation for this speech contest.