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OSAKA — New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark on Monday called for more youth exchanges between New Zealand and Japan.

Clark was speaking at a high school in Settsu, Osaka Prefecture, that has sent more than 1,000 students to New Zealand over the past 10 years.

Clark told about 1,300 students of Osaka Kun-ei Girls High School that students are young diplomats who connect the two cultures, and that a real understanding of people and culture will be possible and long-term friendships developed through the experience. The school sends about 170 students every year to 67 sister schools in New Zealand, where they study for one year. The school says it is probably the only school in Japan that sends more than 100 students every year to New Zealand for a full year.

Daikin gets Kiwi honor

OSAKA — New Zealand opened an honorary consulate general Monday at the Osaka head office of Daikin Industries Ltd., a major air conditioner manufacturer with extensive business ties in Oceania, the company said.

Visiting New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark inspected the office the same day and officially appointed Daikin President Noriyuki Inoue as an honorary consul general of the country. Inoue concurrently serves as a co-chairman of the Kansai Association of Corporate Executives.

It will offer such services as receiving official guests from New Zealand and providing information to New Zealanders living in the Osaka area.

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