Prefectural Advisor

The Prefectural Advisor (PA) System was originally created in 1991 to help better support the participants of the JET Programme.

The four PAs work together to try to help resolve problems to ensure smooth running of the Akita JET Programme. Your PA Team has training, experience and knowledge of Japanese culture, language, workplaces and education that you can draw on to make your decisions and address problems. You can find all of the PA's contact details below.

Please feel free to contact any us anytime, regardless of our proximity to you in the prefecture.

What do PAs do?

Akita's Prefectural Advisors provide a variety of services for JETs, the most important of which are listed below.


Living and working as a foreigner in Akita can be extremely stressful at times. Problems can be furthered by culture shock, language difficulties and the harsh Akita winter.

Your PAs can offer basic consultation services to help you overcome these difficulties if and when they arise. However, you must consult your contracting organization before contacting a PA, and PAs will not provide counseling for mental health issues and in such cases will refer JET participants to the JET counselling service or mental health professionals.

Confidentiality is strictly upheld in all consultation situations. The only exception to this is if a JET poses an imminent threat to themselves or others.


If you face a dispute with another party, for example a fellow JET or a supervisor, your PAs can offer mediation services to ensure effective communication and dialog to help address the problem. We can also offer a listening ear and advice on approaching the problem. If all parties agree we can also offer our services in person to the parties involved. This would involve identifying common and individual needs, and then ways to achieve as many of them as possible. During mediation, PAs represent all parties involved and therefore cannot assure confidentiality.

Crisis Response and Management

Although it is best to contact us during normal working hours or schedule an appointment, if a crisis situation or emergency occurs, you can contact us immediately and at any time. Such situations could include medical emergencies, crime incidents, bereavement, natural disaster, physical or mental trauma and personal crises, including suicidal or violent thoughts. We will try to help you manage and deal with any such crises.

***It's important to note however that PAs are not professional counselors. In a case where a PA feel the situation requires more expertise the PA will, with your consent, help arrange for a referral to an appropriate professional.***

Interpretation Support

If you need language assistance for medical treatment, driver's licence interviews, legal processes, etc., we can provide interpretation assistance within work hours. Please contact us at the Akita Mailing List for further information.

Other PA Activities

  • The PAs send a bi-monthly news letter called, "The Akitan" to help clarify work related happenings, legal information that affects you, and provide a forum for displaying JET creativity. We are always trying to make The Akitan better and more interesting, so if you have a piece of work you would like included, feel free to send it to any one of the PAs.
  • The PAs also create a yearly map of where all the ALTS in Akita are situated, as well as compile a directory with everyone's contact information.
    • Because the directory contains personal information, the PAs do not upload it here to the wiki. If you have lost your copy and would like one sent to you, please contact one of the PAs.
  • Although anyone can edit our website, the PAs in particular try to keep pertinent information up to date. Akita's wiki is a treasure chest of useful information regarding local information, important documents, travel, language and more!
  • Our Mailing List [1] and message board are also available so that you can pass information and ask questions to other JETs easily.

Kinds of PAs in Akita

Prefectural Advisors: The role of Prefectural Advisor is to provide information, consultation, and mediation. The Prefectural Advisors also are the primary organizers of the JET Conferences. Like other JETs, Prefectural Advisors also visit schools and have other responsibilities beyond their jobs as PAs.

Japanese Prefectural Advisor - The Japanese Prefectural Advisor is primarily in charge of the CIR aspects of our JET Conferences. The Japanese PA is also in charge of communicating with your BOEs regarding conferences and other important announcements from CLAIR, MEXT, the Akita International Affairs Division, and the Akita Prefectural Board of Education. The Japanese PA and the PAs work closely throughout the year.

Contact Information

Pimms Hubbell

Aaron Kern

Kathryn Ross

Josephine Chiao

Chika Suzuki (鈴木 千賀)

Historical Prefectural Advisors

Int'l Affairs Division Education
Center PA
Elected PAs
Japanese PA JET-CIR PA
2018 Chika Suzuki (鈴木 千賀) Josephine Chiao Pimms Hubbell Aaron Kern Kathryn Ross -
2017 Kaori Akagawa (赤川 香里) Jennifer Cambell Alexander Dao Micheal Aubrey Brianna Hom
2016 Jonathon Morris Lynne Francis Nicholas Asquith
2015 Rachel Youngblood
2014 Kumiko Sato (佐藤 久美子) Randy Umetsu Taylor Fustin Josh Drewry Stephanie Hupp
2013 -
2012 Renaud Davies Derek Lemieux Nikki Zywina
2011 Casey Kuester Anne Smith Kaydene Carty
2010 Rumi Sasaki (佐々木 留美) - -
2009 Mie Ishikawa (石川 未英) Dan Dooher Rob Evans (Asst.) Tapo Mandal (Asst.)

See also