PRISTINA – The RYCO Local Branch Office in Kosovo met with the Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Kosovo Mr Mitsunori Ogasawara, on Wednesday, 21 April. The meeting took place in Pristina and focused on enhancing cooperation between the parties.
Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Pristina Ms Krenare Gashi-Krasniqi presented to Mr Ogasawara the work of RYCO in the local and regional level, introducing also key processes and activities that are currently being implemented. She emphasized the already established cooperation between RYCO and the government of Japan through the MIRAI Program, implemented with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, which connects youth from the Western Balkans and Japan.
Ms Gashi-Krasniqi underlined the importance of this partnership and mentioned the high number of young people from Kosovo who applied to be part of the program and showed interest in experiencing the Japanese culture.
“It is very important for RYCO to provide youth from the Western Balkan with possibilities to participate in intercultural exchanges in the region and beyond,” Ms Gashi Krasniqi stated.
In continuation, RYCO LBO Program Assistant Mr Ramadan Sokoli took the opportunity to present the current activities and plans that RYCO implemented on the ground to support young people both locally and regionally. He highlighted the huge impact that exchange programs have on bringing youth from the region together.
Mr Ogasawara emphasized that the Embassy of Japan in Kosovo is committed to supporting Kosovo in its economic development. He expressed his readiness to explore new possibilities for cooperation between RYCO and the Embassy.
RYCO is currently implementing the youth exchange program “Western Balkans meet Japan: A Bridge into the Future”, organized under the MIRAI Program since 2018, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 11 undergraduate and graduate students from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia are attending online workshops and will soon participate in cultural exchange activities that are planned to take place in Japan later this year.
“Western Balkans meet Japan: A Bridge into the Future” aims to deepen participants’ understanding of Japan and its policy, to promote mutual understanding and reconciliation through intellectual and cultural exchange, as well as build a basis for future friendship and cooperation between Japan and the Western Balkans.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.