• Kyodo

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A number of foreign families in the greater Tokyo area will join a summer homestay program starting July 31 to host children from single-parent homes affected by the 2011 earthquake in northeastern Japan.

The nonprofit Mother Link Japan, which has organized the initiative, says the free program is intended for children who would otherwise have to spend time alone at home during their summer vacation because their parents are at work for most of the day.

Around 10 families in the Kanto region, covering Tokyo and neighboring prefectures, will host students from fourth grade up, providing cross-cultural experiences and chances to learn English for up to two weeks, according to the nonprofit, which is based in Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture.

Rie Nejime, the group’s representative, said: “We have seen support extended by an increasing number of foreign residents. We hope to help single-parent families.”

Hosts are from countries such as Canada, the United States and Zimbabwe.

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