A group of some 200 Chinese high school students wrapped up
their 9-day visit in Japan on Wednesday and gathered at the
Japanese Foreign Ministry before their return on Thursday.
Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Aso said at the gathering that he
hoped the students can take the visit as a start to understand more
of Japan. "High school students shoulder the future. Youth
exchanges will be a major force in promoting relationships between
Japan and China," he said.
The high school students, from various parts of China including
Tianjin, Chongqing, Shandong and Jilin, arrived at Tokyo on May 30.
They visited Tokyo and other parts of Japan such as Yamagata,
Aichi, Osaka and Okinawa prefectures, staying at common Japanese
families and mingled with Japanese students.
"Japanese high schools are somewhat different from my school and
the local families are very hospitable," a 17-year-old student from
Shandong Province said.
Zhou Yuanqing, chief of the Chinese student delegation, thanked
the Japanese side for making the arrangements. "During the visit,
Chinese students and their Japanese counterparts strengthened
understandings, which is significant for friendship between the two
nations," Zhou said.
This delegation marked the first visit under a so-called
"JENESYS Program" launched by Japan this year. According to the
program, Japan will invite 6,000 young people from China, South
Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand and ASEAN countries each year
to enhance youth exchange. Young Chinese visitors can be as many as
2,000 each year.
Tokyo and Beijing arranged several batches of high school
students to visit each other last year, involving at least 1,300
students from both sides.
(Xinhua News Agency June 7, 2007)