(Applicants can download an application in Excel file at the Embassy's site. Go to the end of the post for more.)
Remember that harebrained project that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would do after grabbing some extra money in the supplementary budget last year? Well it has just started.
"An Invitation Program to Japan for SOCIAL MEDIA WRITERS: Hello social media writers!--the Government of Japan invites you to participate in an opportunity to travel to Japan and share your experience through social media."
Here's the screen capture of the Facebook page of the Japanese Embassy in Canada:
The post (23 hours ago) says the following (emphasis is mine):
An Invitation Program to Japan for SOCIAL MEDIA WRITERS: Hello social media writers!--the Government of Japan invites you to participate in an opportunity to travel to Japan and share your experience through social media.
- objective: to share your impressions, positive experiences, and attraction to Japan through social media i.e blogs, Facebook, &Twitter. Witness a vibrant Japan as it recovers from the disasters of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
- visit places that would help you understand Japan's politics, economics, society, and culture + meet with persons in your area of interest
- area of interest: pop culture, fashion, design, science & technology, Japanese food culture, sports, academia, art, etc.
- You should have more than 1000 followers per social media profile. After returning to Canada, participants will be required to write at least three articles about their visit.
- duration: 7 days sometime after April 2012
- expenses covered: accommodation, travel to and from Japan, transportation in Japan, and accident insurance
- deadline: April 4.
Please find the application form & procedure @ http://www.ca.emb-japan.go.jp/canada_e/JapanCanada/2012/social_media_writers_april_2012.html
*Embassy of Japan may request candidates to visit the Embassy for an interview.
Please apply & spread the word!
The anon reader who gave me the link says the Embassy people (or whoever is managing their Facebook page) keep deleting the negative comments.
The Japanese people I know are all disgusted with the government scheme and they are extremely ashamed. And angry that their tax money is being used like this by their government.
This is hilarious. I clicked on the link in the Embassy's Facebook post to take a look at the application form. IT'S AN EXCEL FILE! Are we still in the late 1980s, when companies that were very much behind the curve about computers were using Excel spreadsheet as word processor?
So these Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials do not even know how to create a simple form either in editable PDF format or web format, and they want to invite social media writers.
It was probably created by a local secretary who doesn't know anything about social media...