High schoolers from disaster zone arrive in China

JIJI

About 400 Japanese high school students from areas hit by the March 2011 quake and tsunami arrived in Beijing on Friday at the invitation of the Chinese government.

At a reception hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Education, the students from six prefectures, including Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, met local high school students. The visit was arranged after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with local residents in Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures on his visit in May 2011 and announced a plan to invite some 500 children to China.

Since this year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between Japan and China, the students were invited to China as part of a youth exchange program involving about 5,000 students that was agreed upon by the two countries.

The students visited the Great Wall on Friday and will also travel to Xi’an in Shaanxi Province and Shanghai, where they will experience traditional Chinese culture with local students before returning home Friday.