Japanese high schools win prizes at international model UN conference

Japanese high schools win prizes at international model UN conference
Japanese high school students who participated in the 2015 Global Classrooms International Model United Nations Conference pose at U.N. headquarters in New York. Pictured front row, from left, are Yoshitetsu Higashi, Takumi Masaka, Gen Okano and Soichiro Saeki.

NEW YORK - Two Japanese high schools received awards at the 2015 Global Classrooms International Model United Nations Conference held in New York last week.

Toin Gakuen Secondary Education School from Kanagawa Prefecture received an Honorable Mention on the theme of "Eradication of Poverty," while Rokko High School from Hyogo Prefecture received an award for its position paper on sustainable energy.

About 1,500 high school students from 20 countries participated in the conference on May 14-16. Six Japanese high schools that had won the All Japan Model United Nations Conference sent two students each to New York.

The other four schools were Nada High School from Hyogo Prefecture and three from Tokyo - Jissen Joshi Gakuen High School, Seishin Joshi Gakuin High School and Shibuya High School. The Japanese delegation represented Syria and participated in debates in English.

Toin Gakuen, which has a six-year system, participated in the General Assembly's meeting on the poverty theme. Takumi Masaka and Gen Okano, both 17, spoke about the importance of solving conflicts first to eradicate poverty and led discussions to draft a resolution.

"I've gained confidence through this conference," Masaka said. "I want to become a person who will play an active role in the world in the future."

Okano added, "I think we won the award because of our thorough preparations."

Rokko High School participated in the UN Development Program. Third-year students Soichiro Saeki, 18, and Yoshitetsu Higashi, 17, were recognised for their position paper on policy related to the feasibility of sustainable energy.

"The experience of debating with high school students from various countries was wonderful," Saeki said.

"I'm glad our policy proposals, the fruit of careful thinking, were rated highly," Higashi added.Speech

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