Japan-Palau Alumni Series: Vol.11 Ms. Carlisa Ngedebuu


Ms. Carlisa Ngedebuu is one of the successful alumna of the Japanese Government Scholarship offered by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) to bring Palauan students to further their education in Japan since 1982.
Her passion for learning the Japanese language led her to two opportunities to study in Japan. The first scholarship that she received was a Palau High School program that gave her an opportunity to attend Reitaku University in Chiba prefecture. The second time was when she got accepted to study the Japanese language under the MEXT scholarship at Bunka Institute of Language in Tokyo, Japan where she graduated in 1985. At the time, there were only two fields under the MEXT Specialized Training Program to choose from which were Japanese language and Civil Engineering. She chose Japanese Language because she wanted to be a Japanese language teacher.
Ms. Ngedebuu’s fond memory of her stay in Japan was the homestay. Working alongside her host family and joining in the community activities and participating in events such as the community karaoke competitions helped her learn the Japanese language faster. Living and studying in Japan taught Ms. Ngedebuu that learning the language also helps you learn about the people and the culture of that country.

Japanese language became the thread that connected Ms. Ngedebuu to her work starting with Nishimatsu Construction company for 23 years, teaching Japanese language at Micronesia Occupational College (now Palau Community College) to staffs from various companies in the tourism sector and working as the Japanese Ambassador’s secretary for 13 years until she retired in 2023. Her passion for the Japanese culture and language keeps her involved with Japan-related cultural events and special Japanese language lessons that she does voluntarily with Palauan students who are applying for the Japanese Government Scholarships. 
As the 2024 marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Palau and Japan, Ms. Ngedebuu feels that it is important to further the diplomatic relations by promoting the Japanese language and culture to the younger generations, particularly children in elementary schools so that interests in Japanese language and culture can be nurtured longer for more in-depth learning.