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Arts and Cultural Exchange

Youth Exchange with China

The Japan Foundation China Center

The Japan Foundation China Center was established in 2006 to promote exchanges and mutual understanding between young people in Japan and China. Since it regards young people as the future, the center holds a variety of programs for face-to-face youth exchanges and building connections between Japan and China.

The long-term invitation of Chinese high school students program has Chinese high school students live in Japan for about 11 months to experience Japanese school life and home life like ordinary Japanese students.

The center also operates Centers for Face-to-Face Exchanges in China to introduce Japanese magazines, manga, music, and the latest information. Our Heart-to-Heart Website promotes exchanges between young people, information sharing, and mutual cooperation.

Of the 237 students who completed the long-term invitation of Chinese high school students program, 95 of them (about 40 percent) returned to Japan mainly as university students. After graduating from university or starting work, many of them participate in Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges activities or university student exchange activities. Thus, the positive aftereffects of the program last a long time.

Photo of Chinese students invited by the Japan Foundation China Center

Opening of New Centers for Face-to-Face Exchanges

In 2013, the Kunming Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges and Jinan Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges opened as the eleventh and twelfth Centers for Face-to-Face Exchanges in China. At the opening event in Jinan, Japanese and Chinese university students talked about their Japanese cultural experiences in front of a large audience.

All the Centers for Face-to-Face Exchanges provide a chance to see Japanese culture and participate in cultural exchange events. In fiscal 2013, a Japanese university student group planned a rich variety of exchange events featuring both traditional and modern Japanese culture at Chengdu, Guangzhou, Chongqing, and Kunming.

Activities of the Centers for Face-to-Face Exchanges are reported by our Heart-to-Heart Website (chinacenter.jp) External link.

Photo of the first university student exchange event at Kunming Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges
The first university student exchange event at Kunming Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges.

Reflecting on Student Life in Japan

In February 2014, the 30 students on the long-term invitation of Chinese high school students 8th program gathered in Osaka for a midterm seminar. They had been attending high schools across Japan for six months after arriving in late August 2013.

At the seminar, they reflected on their lives in Japan so far. Each student talked about how they matured in Japan and their trials and tribulations like the different customs, language barrier, and communication methods. On the other hand, they mentioned many positive things like making close friends in Japan and the host family being like their real family.

The seminar also had former students from the 1st group that participated in the long-term invitation program. They talked about their experiences and gave advice on how to make the most of their remaining months in Japan. With renewed confidence, the students then returned to their homes in Japan.

Japanese High School Students Visit Guangzhou Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges

Twenty Japanese high school students from host schools participating in the long-term invitation of Chinese high school students program visited China in March 2014. It was to make it a more two-way youth exchange between Japan and China.

The students first visited Guangzhou wher e they and Japanese-language students from Sun Yat-sen University visited Japanese companies (Guangzhou Jatco and Guangzhou Yakult) and the Guangzhou Center for Face-to-Face Exchanges. The Japanese students learned about the local lifestyle and thinking. At the Shenzhen Foreign Languages School, they observed the high school students' lifestyle by seeing their dormitory and touring the campus and observing classes. They noticed how different it was from Japan.

Their homestay and casual meet-ups enabled them to experience the heartiness of the Chinese and form close friendships. In Shanghai, they went sightseeing with past participants of the long-term invitation program.

Thanks to this trip, the Japanese students had a true-to-life experience in China not possible in Japan. They now feel much closer to their counterparts in China.

Photo of Making paper cutouts of 'Double Happiness' Chinese characters with students at Shenzhen Foreign Languages School
Making paper cutouts of "Double Happiness" Chinese characters with students at Shenzhen Foreign Languages School.