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KYOCERA Hosts 15th Cultural Exchange Tour for Chinese Children

30 elementary & middle school students spend nine days in Japan engaging in international exchange

August 5, 2014
As part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, Kyocera Corporation (President: Goro Yamaguchi) hosted the 15th Cultural Exchange Tour for Chinese Children to visit and experience Japan with the goal of promoting international exchange. This year’s program was held from July 27 through August 4, 2014.

Welcome reception held at Kyocera headquarters in Kyoto
Welcome reception held at Kyocera headquarters 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 is the 15th time the tour has been hosted, with a total of 424 children having taken part in the program since it was started in 1997. This year, 30 elementary and middle school students from Guangdong Province participated in the tour.

The tour included visits to Tokyo, Kyoto and Kagoshima with a variety of programs to experience the culture and life in Japan. During their visit to Tokyo, the children visited Tokyo Disneyland and also went sightseeing near Mt. Fuji, a world heritage site symbolizing Japan.

Children visiting a middle school in KyotoChildren visiting a middle school in Kyoto
interacting with their host families in Kagoshimainteracting with their host families in Kagoshima
Children visiting a middle school in Kyoto (top left and right) and
interacting with their host families in Kagoshima (bottom left and right)

In Kyoto, the children visited historical sites such as Heian Jingu Shrine and the Golden Pavilion “Kinkakuji,” in addition to a middle school in which they interacted with Japanese students through science experiments and traditional games such as “Kendama”, “Go” and “Shogi.” A reception was held at Kyocera’s headquarters to welcome the children and encourage them to utilize their discoveries in a different culture for their future.

For the second half of the tour, the children experienced Japanese life in Kagoshima through a three-day home stay with Kyocera Group employees and participation in a summer festival at a Kyocera manufacturing plant. Furthermore, they visited the 70-megawatt Kagoshima Nanatsujima Mega Solar Power Plant which was launched last year, to learn about photovoltaics and the importance of renewable energy.

Background and 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.

In addition to this program, Kyocera has been making various efforts to help enhance the relationship between Japan and China, including assistance for the Japan-China Yangtze River Civilization Survey from 1995 to 2001 for research into the oldest civilization in China, and support for the Matsuyama Ballet Troup’s performance held in China in 2011 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of normalized diplomatic relations between the two countries. Furthermore, Kyocera and Inamori set up the Inamori-Kyocera Western Development Scholarship in 2001 with the purpose of assisting economically disadvantaged university students in China’s western provinces, which is granted at 12 universities each year with more than 3,500 recipients to date.

Through the cultural exchange tour, the company hopes for the children to grow up to become international citizens capable of establishing friendly relationships between Japan and China, and to lead prosperous and fruitful lives as leaders in various fields.