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Taiwanese students to visit quake-hit areas in Japan

2012/09/14 22:56:54

Taipei, Sept. 14 (CNA) A group of Taiwanese high school students will soon travel to Japan in part to learn more about the country's reconstruction efforts following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011, a Japanese agency said Friday.

One hundred Taiwanese students will leave Saturday on the nine-day trip sponsored by Japan's government, and one of their stops will be Iwate Prefecture, which was hit hard by the magnitude 9 earthquake on March 11, 2011, Japan's Interchange Association said in a statement.

The Taiwanese youngsters will also live with Japanese host families and visit schools in Chiba Prefecture and Hiroshima Prefecture to learn more about the local culture, the association said.

The Japanese government initiated the program to thank countries that offered rescue assistance and donations after the earthquake and ensuing tsunami, said the association, which represents Japanese interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Taiwan donated some US$260 million in relief and reconstruction aid to Japan, the most of any country in the world.

Under the program, Japan is planning to invite 350 Taiwanese high school and university students to visit the country by the end of March 2013, while 30 Japanese youngsters from the disaster-affected areas will be invited to Taiwan, the association said.

Taiwan, China and the United States are among the 41 countries included in the program to promote cultural exchanges and understanding of Japan's reconstruction efforts, the association added.

(By Elaine Hou)