Youths in Japan to study rebuilding

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 - Page 3

A group of Taiwanese college and graduate students traveled to Japan yesterday, to learn about the country’s reconstruction efforts following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011, a Japanese news agency said.

The 100 university students will attend a presentation in Tokyo on post-disaster reconstruction before visiting Miyagi Prefecture, which was hit hard by the magnitude 9 earthquake on March 11, 2011, Japan’s Interchange Association said in a recent statement.

During their 14-day trip, the students will meet with Japanese counterparts to discuss issues such as how to limit the impact of natural disasters, given that Japan and Taiwan are both earthquake-prone areas, the association said.

The students will live with Japanese host families to learn more about local culture, it said, adding that they will be separated into four groups in Aichi, Gifu, Kyoto and Nara prefectures.

The students’ trip is part of a program sponsored by the Japanese government to thank Taiwan for its rescue assistance and donations after the 2011 disaster, said the association, which represents Japanese interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Taiwan donated US$260 million in relief and reconstruction aid to Japan, more any other country in the world.

Under the program, 319 Taiwanese students have been invited to Japan, while a group of 30 Japanese are to visit Taiwan in March to mark the second anniversary of the earthquake, the association said.