Sun, Feb 15, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Japan, Taiwan to launch working holiday program

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA, , TOKYO

Japan is expected to launch a working holiday program with Taiwan this summer to strengthen exchanges between young people in the two countries, the leader of a pro-Taiwan Japanese parliamentary group that is promoting the program said.

Takeo Hiranuma, head of the Japan-Taiwan Dietmen’s Council, mentioned the possibility on Thursday during a forum with a Taiwanese journalist delegation that is visiting Japan.

In addition to the program, the council is also promoting within the Japanese government a proposal by Taiwan to open an office in the Hokkaido city of Sapporo, Hiranuma said.

Takao Fujii, another senior member of the council, said the working holiday program was aimed at allowing young people to work on a short-term basis while traveling in a foreign country and that Japan currently maintains working holiday programs with nine countries.

The Tokyo-based Interchange Association — a quasi-official organization authorized to handle exchanges with Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties — said the program with Taiwan would target travelers aged under 35.

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