Labo History

Labo History

Fifty Decades of Discovery


•TEC (Tokyo English Center) Ltd. is established. The “Labo Group” takes its first step.

•Labo offers English-language classes for Japanese businessmen.


•Labo Educational Center is founded, and the focus of Labo swtiches to children. TheLabo Party club system is organized. Labo Tutors organization is started to lead the Labo Parties.

•Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies of Language (TIASL) is established. Prof. Noam Chomsky and Prof. Roman Jakobson are guest speakers at TIASL seminars. TIASL develops Chinese, French, and Japanese language educational materials.


•Labo Education Center publishes it’s first bi-lingual tape/text: “Thunder Boy”. Since then, over 100 educational tapes, CD’s and texts have been published.


•Labo Parties are established throughout Japan. Membership reaches 30,000.


•Labo’s Camp Kurohime is completed, giving Labo a complete, full-service camp facility! 10,000 members attend the first summer. Since then, Labo has developed six campsites throughout Japan.


•179 Labo members visit Washington and Idaho for one-month homestays with 4-H families.


•Labo International Exchange Foundation is established with the authorization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

•The two-way Labo/4-H exchange program officially begins. In addition to sending Japanese youth to the United States, Labo hosts 318 youth from 4-H Clubs on the first Summer Homestay in Japan.


•Labo commences an exchange in Canada with Saskatchewan province.


•Labo/Korea Exchange is inaugurated. 120 Labo members visit Korea for homestays. A total of 688 students participated, until political unrest forced cessation of the program.


•Labo/Allegheny Mennonite Conference exchange begins.


•Many special Labo events are held to commemorate the International Year of the Child.


•Asian Student Exchange: Labo sends a 13-member delegation to Penang, Malaysia.


•Labo/Australia Exchange begins. Under the auspices of the Japanese Language Teachers of New South Wales, 50 Australian students come to Japan for winter homestays.


•Tokyo Institute for Advanced Studies of Language sponsors their first International Symposium of Linguistics, with Prof. Wayne O’Neal as guest speaker.


•Labo is the major sponsor for the London Shakespeare Group’s tour of Japan. A series of Shakespearean tapes is added to Labo’s library of bi-lingual tapes and texts.


•The Society for Japanese Folk-Narrative Research is established under Labo’s auspices, with the goal of recording and preserving Japanese folk culture.


•Tokyo English Center, Ltd., the parent organization of the Labo system, changes it’s name to the Labo Corporation for Language and Educational Research.

20th anniversary of the Labo Party system.

•Labo/China exchange is inaugurated. 30 Labo members visit China for homestays and sightseeing.

•US 4-H representatives are invited to Japan for a two-month “Youth Caravan visiting Labo Parties throughout Japan.

•Labo delegation attends the 4-H “Citizenship World Focus” program in Washington, DC.

•Tokyo Institute for the Advanced Study of Language sponsors their second International Symposium on Linguistics with Prof. Wayne O’Neal and Prof. Susan Carey as guest speakers.

•Labo sponsors a forum on “Japanese Language Education in Australia”.


•Labo’s Japanese Language Teacher’s Training Program is established, with classes leading to certification as Japanese language teachers.

•Labo Intern program begins with four Interns the first year.


•Labo Japanese Language (NIHONGO) Institute is established, offering Japanese language courses to foreign students. The NIHONGO Institute offers full-year and short-term intensive Japanese language instruction to about 150 students per year.

•Labo Year-Long High School program begins with 4-H in the United States.


•Labo/DeMolay Exchange begins with a pilot group sent to Washington.


•Labo Adult Exchange program offers 2-week homestays and sightseeing for adults.

20th anniversary of the Labo exchange celebrated with an International Youth Environmental Symposium.


•Labo/Mexico exchange begins with Durango 4-C organization.


.•The Labo/Canada Year Long High School program begins in Alberta.


•30th anniversary of Labo, and the 25th anniversary of the international exchange program — three decades of discovery, exploration, and growth! Anniversary events include two International Educational Forums attended by over 600 educators and adult volunteer leaders from four countries. These Forums were held in Williamsburg, Virginia, and Saitama, Japan


•Labo and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) begin a summer camping program in the United States.


•Exchanges begin with Prince Edward Island, and the New England Homeschool Exchange organization.


•Labo sponsors an Agricultural Study Program for young Japanese farmers to live with American farmers and study US agricultural techniques.

•15th anniversary of the Labo/China exchange.


•Labo/Korea exchange resumes

•30th anniversary of Labo’s international exchange programs


•Labo begins an exchange with New Zealand


•Labo/New Zealand Parent and Child Exchange begins


•20th anniversary of Labo/China Exchange


•35th anniversary of Labo International Exchange programs
•Youth Development Seminar by 4-H facilitators held in 8 different locations throughout Japan.


•Labo/New Zealand Reciprocal Exchange begins.


•25th Anniversary of the Labo/China Exchange
•10th Anniversary of the Labo/Korea Exchange


•10th Anniversary of the Labo/NewZealand Exchange
•15th Anniversary of the Labo Oregon Camp

40th Anniversary of Labo International Exchange Programs — Anniversary events “Bring Cultures, Build Understanding” in Washington, DC


•Labo International Exchange Foundation is authorized with the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan
•Labo begins Japanese culture study tour for Indonesian youth


•40th Anniversary of the Labo/Korea Exchange celebrated, a corporate juridical person


•Japanese study program for Australia high school students established by the Labo Japanese Language Institute


•30th Anniversary of the Labo/China Exchange


45th Anniversary Labo International Exchange Programs


•Labo receives Foreign Minister’s Commendations


•40th Anniversary of the Labo/Pennsylvania Mennonite Exchange