The initiative by Lin Kobayashi is very simple; a school that nurtures students to grow into natural-born leaders but on home turf and that too with Asian sensibilities. This also means biting the bullet with history lessons that teach both sides of the story. So a lesson in Japan-China Island dispute will give the whole truth, not just glammed up Chinese or stoic Japanese versions. Just Plain Facts!
The idea of the school is to nurture leadership qualities in the students with an Asian perspective so that students are able to deal with local issues with a better understanding of their homeland. Currently many students end up studying a westernized perspective of their country and at times it can be far from the absolute truth. Most school programs are over-reliant on Western-style leadership. Lin Kobayashi hopes her foundation International School of Asia, Karuizawa (ISAK) outside Tokyo will go on to empower young Japanese and other Asians to emerge as political and business leaders.
As a Japanese businesswoman behind this innovative new school, Lin who is a former investment analyst at Morgan Stanley, hopes to bring together students from a diverse cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. Apparently scholarships for poor students will be funded by donations. The foundation has so far collected 1.5 billion yen ($19 million) in donations and private funding and infused it into the curriculum to cover initial costs. They are in the process of inviting prominent business figures to come on board as advisors. With emphasis on regional history, students from as far as Palestine to Myanmar hope to understand the need of their country and come up with solutions to tackle them.
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