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Annual Report 2012/2013 Fostering Future Leaders of Japan-China Exchange

Fostering Future Leaders of Japan-China Exchange

The Japan Foundation China Center

The Japan Foundation China Center was established in 2006 to promote exchange between youths in Japan and China, who will go on to be leaders of the next generation. The Center takes a diversity of approaches to encourage Japan-China youth exchange and build relations in which the participants can put a face to a name, such as the long-term exchange program for Chinese high school students, which invites students to Japan for about 11 months and provides the same experience of school and home life as Japanese students; the establishment and operation of the Centers for Face-to-Face Exchanges in provincial towns in China for introducing the latest information on Japanese magazines, manga, and music; the inviting and dispatching of youths between Japan and China for exchange projects; and the operation of the website Heart-to-Heart to share information and strengthen ties.

Long-Term Exchange Program for Chinese Students Alumni Meeting

Over the past seven terms of the long-term exchange program, the Center invited a total 237 Chinese high school students to Japan. Of the 205 students that graduated high school in and before the sixth term, 77 have returned to Japan before October 2012 to attend university.

In November, 52 of these Chinese university students in Japan held a meeting with 20 local students with experience in exchange projects at the Centers for Face-to-Face Exchanges and discussed what they could do as students to encourage Japan-China exchange in the future. The students agreed to promote exchange not for the sake of exchange, but to aim for continuous and more meaningful exchange by resolving concrete issues, to which end they came up with various concrete action plans. The China Center will continue to support the alumni's issue-resolving activities.

Long-Term Exchange Program for Chinese Students Alumni Meeting

Face-to-Face Exchanges Summer Program

Starting with the opening in Chengdu in April 2007, the Centers for Face-to-Face Exchanges have been set up in 11 cities in China as of August 2012. University students majoring in Japanese-language studies among others participate in events as volunteers and help the operation of each center.

In 2012, marking the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China, Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges in Yanbian hosted a week-long summer program with the aim of promoting exchange between university students who will lead Japan-China relations in the 40 years to come. The total of 47 participants consisted of 26 Chinese students recommended to represent each Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges and 21 Japanese university students selected via an open call for their enthusiasm about Japan-China exchange. The participants were divided into groups to offer presentations and demonstrations related to their home region, and then shuffled to form teams with a mixture of Japanese and Chinese students. They deepened their understanding of the diversity of the two countries' customs and culture by experiencing Korean culture and climbing Changbai Mountain-these offerings are unique to Yanbian, as it is near China's border with North Korea. Based on their experiences during the week, the participants discussed what they could do as students to promote Japan-China relations, and compiled an action plan for each team. (photo)

Through the Centers for Face-to-Face Exchanges, the China Center will continue to plan and execute programs so that students of Japan and China enthusiastic about promoting mutual understanding can meet, develop friendships, and expand the circle of exchange.

Face-to-Face Exchanges Summer Program

Study Trip to Tohoku

In February 2013, 32 Chinese high school students, the participants of the seventh term of the long-term exchange program, took a study trip to the town of Minamisanriku and the Ogatsucho district of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, with help of the non-governmental organizations NICE and Kasasagi.

After praying for the victims at the crisis management building of Minamisanriku, the students headed to a temporary housing complex in Shizugawa-Nakasemachi and held a warm, cozy Chinese New Year exchange event of serving handmade Jiaozi dumplings and performing music with songs and instruments for the residents. They also volunteered to ship out inkstones in Ogatsucho, and participated in a workshop for making products out of sheets of wood taken from Japanese cedar trees damaged by salt from the tsunami in Minamisanriku, all of which helped the students to learn first-hand information and deepen their understanding of post-disaster Japan.

Study Trip to Tohoku