Prefectural Advisors

What’s a PA? 
Prefectural Advisors (PAs) are JET participants and Japanese staff that provide support to both JET participants and Contracting Organizations.  Each prefecture has at least one JET participant PA and one Japanese PA.  Kumamoto Prefecture has two JET participant PAs and two Japanese PAs.

What’s it do? 
PAs relay information from CLAIR and the Prefectural Office to JET participants; supply information and answer questions on the JET terms and conditions, JET procedural matters, Japanese and home country taxes, health insurance, re-entry permits, visas, Japanese culture, driving in Japan, daily life in Japan, and a variety of other issues; plan and implement orientations, training seminars and other events; and occasionally mediate between JET participants and Contracting Organizations.
 
PAs are also available for consultation on personal or work-related issues. PAs can also help provide referrals to other resources as necessary.

What’s it all mean?
If you have any questions, need some assistance, or just want to talk with someone, please don't hesitate to call or email one of the PAs.   Here they are:


Roland Carlos

CIR Prefectural Advisor
International Affairs Division

I’m originally from Maryland, America, growing up about 15 minutes away from Washington D.C. While I love home (and still intensely follow Washington/Maryland sports), I decided to go west to the University of California, Berkeley for school. At Berkeley, I double majored in Computer Science and Japanese Language. After graduation, I worked in technology consulting out of San Francisco for about three years.

While I was at Berkeley, I had the opportunity to study abroad for half a year in Tsuru, Yamanashi Prefecture. It was there that my interest in Japan really began. In the years following my time in Tsuru, I made it a point to visit see my Tsuru friends and visit a new part of Japan every year. From those travels, I’ve been all over the country, from Hokkaido to Okinawa. Feel free to hit me up for travel advice at any time.

I decided to leave consulting and join the JET program in the summer of 2011. I spent my first three years as an ALT in Amakusa, the islands out in the western part of Kumamoto. While it doesn’t get many tourists outside of the summer (who come for some of the best beaches in Kumamoto), I suggest you take a trip out at least once. Dolphin watching, great onsen, fantastic ocean views, delicious seafood and super friendly people await you there.

Now in my fourth year here in Kumamoto, I’m taking on the challenge of becoming the CIR PA, working out of the International Affairs Division. As the PA, you’ll hear from me with important information and updates throughout the year about your time in Japan. I am also available anytime you have questions, concerns, comments, or just want to chat about your time here in Kumamoto.

Since becoming PA, a lot of people have asked me, "What do PAs actually DO?"  It's a good question.  To de-mystify the CIR PA position a bit, here are some of the things I do:

  • Listen. If you need to vent, are feeling homesick, talk over a difficult issue, or just need someone to listen, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
  • Facilitate communication between ALTs and contracting organizations when issues arise due to miscommunication or misunderstandings
  • Plan, organize, and facilitate Kumamoto Orientation.  
  • Compile the Kumamoto JET Programme Photo Directory 
  • Visit schools with Harada-sensei to watch the classes of 1st year JETs.  This past year we visited 27 schools from November through January!
  • Conduct area visits with all 1st year JETs, their tantoshas, and some JTEs in a given area of the prefecture.  There are usually about 6 or 7 areas that we visit in February. 
  • Outreach visits to each area of the prefecture to have dinner with all the wonderful ALTs and CIRs.
  • Disseminate information on taxes, visas, reappointment, driving, festivals, etc.
  • Edit The YOKA, a quarterly JET newsletter published by the International Affairs Division
  • Compile a tax guide for American JETs
  • Help revise a recommended JET Terms and Conditions for contracting organizations in Kumamoto
  • Meet, greet, and accompany incoming JETs from Tokyo to Kumamoto
  • Attend PA conferences (twice a year)
  • Prepare a Leaver's Packet for non-reappointing JETs
  • Help the ALT PA to plan and facilitate the Skill Development Conference
  • Monthly eikaiwa lessons with the ALT PA for kencho employees
  • Maintain this website

In addition to being PA, I'm also a CIR, which means I do a few other things.  My CIR duties usually take up about 30-40% of my time, and include: 

  • Translations for the prefectural government.  These can be for pretty much anything.  Some examples of past translations include:  letters and thank-you notes to foreign officials; a collection of malfunction errors for a machine that sorts prescription drugs; a powerpoint presentation outlining the prefecture’s Shinkansen promotion strategy; and powerpoint presentations, handouts, and posters for the prefecture’s successful bid to get Aso recognized as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site (GIAHS).
  • Interpretations.  The majority of interpretations are 30-minute courtesy visits to the governor, vice-governor, or other officials from visitors to the prefecture.  A few examples of past delegations include:  Professors from Carroll College in the State of Montana, America, who came to finalize a memorandum of understanding with Kumamoto over an exchange student scholarship fund; Ambassadors and consulate generals from the Netherlands, Australia, America, and the UN; Mansfield Scholars from America; the Japan Handball Federation; and Miss Guam.  Once in a blue moon I’ll also be asked to accompany business leaders or chefs from abroad who come to observe vegetable farms and packing facilities in Kumamoto prefecture.
  • English interviews.  I interview applicants for Kumamoto’s Technical Trainee Program and other prefectural programs. 
  • Elementary and junior high school visits.  Play with students, do games and activities that teach the students about America, and do anything else that the school asks. 
  • English camps.  Occasionally participate in English camps throughout the prefecture
  • CIR conferences.  Once a year

Also important, here are some things PAs DON’T do:

  • Act as an advocate for JETs in disputes with their contracting organizations or JTEs
  • Evaluate JETs on their work performance. 
  • Intervene in personal matters between JETs, particularly on financial issues
  • Tell JETs, their contracting organization, or their school what they have to do 
 




Hideki Harada

Japanese Prefectural Advisor
International Affairs Division

Hello!  I'm Hideki Harada.  In April 2012 I started working as the Japanese PA and the JET Programme supervisor for Kumamoto Prefecture.  My primary role here is to run the JET Programme smoothly with Jason, giving piles of information and advice every day to JET tantoshas of every contracting organization.  

When I was a university student I stayed in Bozeman, Montana in the USA for one year.  From 2005 to 2008, I stayed in Hamburg, Germany, and taught English at a Japanese school in Hamburg.  I've taught English in junior high schools for 15 years, so I have a lot of team-teaching experience with ALTs.  I also like to travel, and have been to about 30 countries! 

I'm looking forward to meeting and talking with all you ALTs and CIRs.  I'll do my best to help you.  See you soon! 
Dokken Nakamone

ALT Prefectural Advisor
Prefectural BOE
Many ALTs come to Kumamoto from all over the world sharing a common interest in Japan. My interest began in high school where I took Japanese for my foreign language studies. I continued my Japanese studies in university, which then expanded to researching Japanese history, culture, and art movements. 

I completed a dual degree in accounting and Japanese history at DePaul University in Chicago and Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. After graduating university, I worked briefly for a newspaper company and then moved to Aso where I taught at five senior high schools located all around the caldera. 

From July 2015, I will be working as the ALT PA at the Kumamoto Prefectural Board of Education Office (Kencho) following the lovely Nicole. I have presented workshops at Tokyo Orientation, Kumamoto Orientation, the Intensive English Teacher's Seminar, SDC and hope to share my experience and some useful knowledge with everyone. 

I will be available for personal or work related counseling. If you also need help filing your US tax returns or have any Japanese language related matters, please don't hesitate to send me a message.

In my spare time, I enjoy running and got to run some cool marathons in Japan, including the Kumamoto Castle Marathon and Miyazaki Aoshima Marathon. I'm also a huge fan of RuPaul's Drag Race, Game of Thrones, and Gintama. 

I am looking forward to working with everyone and hope to build a close community within the JET program. I don't believe a job can be too big or too small if we all work together, so please contact me anytime if you have any questions or concerns. See you around in Kumamoto!
 
 
As an ALT PA, my duties involve:
  • Information giving
  • Personal support for Kumamoto Ken ALTs
  • 1st year SHS ALTs surveys and interviews.
  • English class observation visits with the Kumamoto Prefectural BOE.
  • Checking of English scripts for various exams.
  • Random English checks for the Prefectural BOE.
  • Recording various listening tests throughout the year.
  • The planning, coordinating and organizing of the yearly Skill Development Conference.
  • Available for mediation if any problems between ALTs and base schools arise.
  • Judging of speech and debate contests throughout Kumamoto Ken.
  • Monthly visits to Hinokuni special needs school.
  • Monthly ekaiwa lessons at the prefectural office.
  • Assisting the International Affairs Office with the orientation of new JETs.
  • The meeting, greeting and accompanying of new JETs from Tokyo to Kumamoto for group A and group B arrivals.
  • Assisting the prefectural BOE in the organization and running of a 3 day intensive training camp for Japanese teachers of English. 
  • Outreach visits to each area in the prefecture to have dinner with JETs
  • Attending PA conferences
  • Compiling Leaver’s Packet for non-reappointing JETs
There are also some things that I DON'T do as PA:
  • Act as an advocate for JETs in disputes with their contracting organizations or JTEs
  • Evaluate JETs on their work performance
  • Intervene in personal matters between JETs, particularly on financial issues
  • Tell JETs, their contracting organization, or their school what they have to do  

 


 


Shiho Takaki

Japanese Prefectural Advisor
Kumamoto Prefectural BOE
 Upper Secondary School Education Division
 


Hello! I'm Shiho Takaki. In April 2015, I started working as the Japanese PA in Kumamoto Prefectural Board of Education with the JET PA Nicole. My main role is to help ALTs and JTEs working in Kumamoto Prefectural senior high schools. ALTs are big motivators for students who want to improve their English abilities, so I'm really happy to be involved in the JET Programme and help ALTs and JTEs connected to this programme. 
 
Before coming here, I worked at Hitoyoshi SHS, Toryo SHS, and Uto SHS as an English teacher and had team-teaching lessons with some ALTs. I also have been a tantousha of some ALTs, so these experiences might be helpful in my present position.
 
One of my favorite things is sipping nice coffee, so I'm looking forward to meeting, talking and having a nice cup of coffee with you ALTs and CIRs. Please feel free to contact us!
 
 


 
 
 
Reminders....
・If you have been to a good English-speaking doctor, please email the PAs about it.

・Good luck with the new semester of classes! 

Important upcoming dates:

・Starting in October - New ES/JHS ALT School Visits  
 
 
KumAJET
Upcoming Events:

・September 5 - Taco Night, 7PM at Tortacos, Kumamoto City
・September 26 & 27 - Ashikita Beach Party, Otachimisaki Park, Ashikita, check-in starts at 4PM
 

kumajet@ajet.net
 
 
Area Guide

 

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