Japanese Foreign Ministry Wednesday welcomed a group of 197 Chinese high school students in Tokyo, who will start their 9-day exchange tour in Japan.
"During Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent visit to China, the two countries have agreed on enhancing exchanges between juniors," Katsuhito Asano, senior Japanese vice-minister for foreign affairs said at the welcoming ceremony.
Asano said that he hoped teenage students know more about Japan and make Japanese friends through their tour in Kyoto, Osaka, as well as Ehime, Okayama, Hyogo prefectures and other places in Japan.
Akie Abe, the wife of the premier, also attended the ceremony. She said that, during her visit to Beijing on Sunday, she learned that some Chinese students from Beijing Yuetan High School had visited Japan before. "They lived with Japanese families and had a better understanding of Japan," Akie said, "I hope the new visitors can have a good memory of the trip through contacts with local people."
Kong Xuanyou, acting ambassador for Chinese Embassy in Japan, said he hoped the students can take the opportunity to learn about Japanese people and make friends, and tell them about China. "I hope you can be ambassadors for China-Japan friendship," he said.
The students from various parts of China including Fujian, Guizhou, Jilin, Liaoning, Hunan provinces and Shanghai, arrived in Japan on Tuesday, under a high school student exchange program between Japan and China.
According to the program, a total of 1,100 Chinese students will visit Japan, stay with Japanese families and attend exchanging activities with their Japanese counterparts. This group is the third batch of such exchange tours.
(Xinhua News Agency October 11, 2006)