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KYOCERA Hosts 13th Cultural Exchange Tour for Chinese Children
Elementary & junior high school students spend nine days in Japan engaging in international exchange
Students from China interact with Japanese students at a junior high school in Kyoto
The program aims to provide impressionable children with big dreams firsthand experience of different cultures so that they can in turn act as a bridge for China-Japan relations in the future. This year, which marks the 40th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China, is the 13th time the tour has been hosted, with a total of 364 children having taken part in the program thus far. 40 elementary and junior high school students from Beijing and Tianjin participated in the 2012 tour.
This year's tour included visits to Kyoto, Tokyo and Kagoshima (southern Japan) with a variety of programs to experience the culture and life in Japan. During the first half of the tour, the children came to Kyoto City for a welcome reception at Kyocera's headquarters, took a tour of the company's fine ceramics museum, visited famous Kyoto temples, experienced Japanese traditional cultures such as tea ceremony, and participated in exchange meetings with Japanese junior high school students. During their visit to Tokyo, the children visited popular spots such as Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Skytree and Akihabara Electric Town. In the second half of the tour, the children were provided opportunities to experience Japanese life in Kagoshima, such as a three-day home stay with Kyocera Group employees and participation in a summer festival at a Kyocera manufacturing plant.
Students from China experiencing traditional Japanese tea ceremony
at the Chado Research Center (Kyoto)
“Japan and China share a long history of relations which exceeds a thousand years. We share many cultural similarities, with a multitude of areas on which we can come together on,” stated Kyocera Corporation Chairman Makoto Kawamura at the welcome reception. “As this year marks the 40th anniversary of normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries, we hope that you will help us to write a new page in the history of friendly relations between Japan and China.”
A student representative of the Chinese group, Yuming Yang, also gave a short speech where he shared his ambitions, “I would like to make the most of this opportunity to understand the society, culture and people of Japan, and especially, to deepen our friendship through exchanges between young people. In the future, I hope that we each become a bridge for the friendly relationship between China and Japan, writing a new page in our history and creating a wonderful future for the two countries.”
Purpose of the Program
The program was organized based on the experiences of Kazuo Inamori, founder and chairman emeritus of Kyocera Corporation, as he was deeply moved by cultural interaction during his first visit to the United States for a business trip. In 1976, Kyocera began inviting Japanese children on foreign tours, reflecting Inamori's hope that providing children with opportunities to interact directly with foreign cultures will help them to develop broad perspectives and hold various dreams. Since 1997, Kyocera began inviting Chinese children to Japan for school visits and home stays, in which they can interact with young people and experience Japanese culture. Kyocera hopes that through this tour, the Chinese students will be able to expand their perspectives for their further development, and to contribute to the advancement of China-Japan relations.
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