Norway ‘working holiday’ plan set

Kyodo

Japan and Norway will jointly launch a “working holiday” program next year aimed at enhancing exchanges between young adults by issuing special visas, their leaders said.

After their meeting last week in Tokyo, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and his Norwegian counterpart, Jens Stoltenberg, also said they agreed to boost bilateral cooperation in sectors such as climate and geological research in the Arctic.

The exchange program, beginning Feb. 1, will allow Japanese and Norwegian people aged 18 to 30 to work on a short-term basis for up to one year even when they are staying in each other’s country for a holiday, the Foreign Ministry said.

“We agreed to deepen our cooperative relations in a wide range of fields as maritime and pacific states, which are sharing common views” on many issues, Noda said at a joint news conference with Stoltenberg.

“There are strong bonds between Norway and Japan,” Stoltenberg said, vowing to bolster bilateral economic ties.