JUEMUN: Never Ending Friendship on MUN

Japan All-English Model United Nations(JUEMUN) 2014 was held in Kobe City University of Foreign Studies on 27-29 June 2014. At first I don’t know that there are Model United Nations in Japan. I thought it was quite weird to hold MUN in Japan where most of its residents can’t speak English. However, I love Japan and it’s really interesting for me to find out how MUN goes in Japan. Thus, I decided to register myself on JUEMUN. To be honest, I was trying to register for All-Japan Model United Nation which is annually held in Tokyo at the end of year. Unfortunately it didn’t match with my schedule.
VOILA! I was accepted as one of delegate in JUEMUN 2014. I was appointed as delegate of Panama on Priority “Improve The Quality of Learning” and Committee “Shortage of Qualified Teacher”.

I don’t know anything about this kind of priority and committee since usually I join MUN as delegation in specific council, such as DISEC. However, I heard that this MUN is conducted in term of Focus Group Discussion. The topic also wasn’t interesting for me because most of MUN topics that I chose was about Security issue. I didn’t dare to ask more but to join this competition. This MUN is conducted in Japan, that’s my main reason to join this competition. By joining this competition, I could also have a special excuse to have a long trip in Japan. LOL.

I arrived at Japan on June 26th with my junior Herlizar Rachman a.k.a Icang. There were only two person from Universitas Indonesia who joined this MUN. At first I didn’t know that he also registered his self for JUEMUN. However, I realized it from email which was sent by committee to Universitas Indonesia delegations. Since then, we arranged our trip together because both of us are Japan enthusiast.

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We arrived at Osaka the day before the conference. We had a quick trip in Osaka. We were extremely concerned about our spending in Japan, so we decided to have Couchsurfing for our stays in Japan. We spent our first day of our trip at Syoji-san’s house. We found him on Couchsurfing. Even though he couldn’t speak English really well, we could still communicate well. Icang and I are learning Japanese, so we tried our best to understand what he was trying to say. He is a really nice person and his home was clean and homey. After we dropped our bag at Syoji-san’s house, we had a quick trip in Osaka. We went to Osaka Castle, Namba, and Dotonburi. For sure I went to NMB48 Theater and Shop. I took some pictures there. However, the most memorable thing from our quick trip was the delicious and cheap Kaiten Sushi. In addition, we munched super tasty Takoyaki in front of NMB48 Theater. We proved that Osaka has the best Takoyaki in Japan.

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The day after that we left Syoji-san’s house early and left him our messages of gratitude. At night we had given him some special presents from Indonesia. He was really happy to have them.

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We arrived at Kobe just in time the registration. Before we arrived, we met our fellow Indonesian friends at Osaka Station. They are from Institut Teknologi Sepuluh November(ITS). They greeted us to confirm if we are from Indonesia. Then we went to the venue together as if we had known each other for a long time. We also met other Indonesian friends at the venue, they are from President University. In addition, there were other Indonesian students who are apparently having exchange program or studying in Japanese university. We found out that actually those who are coming directly from abroad are Indonesian and Philippines students. Meanwhile other overseas students are currently studying in Japan and participated in JUEMUN.

The MUN is extremely different from any MUN which I have joined, such as in Indonesia, Singapore, and US. Most of the discussions were conducted in Unmoderated Caucus and it was also distributed into group of Regional bloc and Committee. No one needs to build their own alliances because all you need is conducting the discussion among the group of regional bloc and committee. Most of the discussion was held in the group of committee. The moderated caucus rarely raised as motion. The moderated caucus was also different. The Board of Dais didn’t make any list of speakers, you just have to say “honorable chairs” to be recognized by the dais. Furthermore, there were no awards in this MUN. In conclusion, it’s all about learning on how to do diplomacy and to learn English. Why bother to learn English? Because there were Faculty Advisors who checked on your Draft Resolutions to make some corrections on your grammar mistakes.
I learn a lot from this MUN. No awards, only diplomacy and of course making new friends!

I have 3 roommates which are Japanese, they are really kind. I gave them special souvenirs from Indonesia as my gratitude. There were also some Japanese students who approached me and shared some stories. The one who I remember the most is Katayama Akane. She’s from Tokyo. We talked a lot since the very first day. I knew her from the delegate party. The delegate party was also weird for me. When a word “Party” pops up into my mind, there will be a club party. However, the party in JUEMUN was different. It’s a typical Japanese Party. It was held in cafeteria where everyone gathered to particular tables. We drank, ate, and talked with each other. This is the moment where I found a lot of new friends, especially Akane. She was really curious about anything. She was really surprised when I told her that I love Japanese music and know some of Japanese musician. However, the most memorable talks between us was when she said that “I think Japan needs you who fluent in English, Indonesia, and eager to learn Japanese.” She was really curious about how I talked a lot during the debate because she knew well that English isn’t my first language. She was curious on how I learn English. I don’t know how to explain it but I said that I’ve been learning English since I was in elementary school and I took course when I was in Junior and Senior High School. We spent a lot of time together during the conference days even though we are from different committee but same priority. I gave her souvenirs from Indonesia. She was really happy to receive that. I also met a lot of nice friends, such as Takuya from Shizuoka and Yusuke from Kindai University. Takuya was from same committee with me, he did some consultation to me before the DR introduction. He’s a really nice person who eager to learn a lot. He thinks that his English is limited but from what I’ve seen he has quite good English skills and more practice will make it perfect. The other mate is Yusuke, he was a journalist for JUEMUN. He approached Icang and me when we were waiting for our Sahur time at hotel lobby. We talked a lot about Japan and Indonesia. He also delivered his apology to us because he was thinking silly about our ritual of “Wudhu” before praying and when we came late to the event because we need more time for our prayer. He didn’t know anything before we told him about our 5 days prayers and stuffs. Cultural exchange happened in this situation. He learnt about Islam’s culture from us. It’s really nice to share about what we actually do to others. He’s a really nice person. He told his friends about our culture in order to avoid any bad words about us.

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In addition, I would like to appreciate the hospitality which was given from the committee. They provided us with halal food and it was really delicious. It was really hard for us to find halal food in Japan. Furthermore, they provided us special room for us to pray. It was a comfy tatami room. We would go there after lunch to pray. It was really funny to see one of our Japanese friend who was curious about our prayer. He was a journalist in JUEMUN, his name is Shima Kotaro. Kotaro tried to follow on how we do our prayer and ask what we were actually doing in our prayer. He followed the prayer of Adji, one of our Indonesian friend who is currently studying in Keio University. Later I found out that Adji came from the same Senior High School as me, he is my junior.10307365_494843463994942_2119931943326720595_n

Now, I’m really happy to keep in contact with my fellow JUEMUN friends on Facebook. I wasn’t really active in Facebook but I will try to keep my Facebook updated. I would recommend JUEMUN to my Indonesian friends if they are willing to find new good friends. Even though there are no awards, there are more valuable things which you’ll find in JUEMUN which is called FRIENDSHIP!

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Thanks JUEMUN for the great moment!

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