The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China (CJCCI) based in Beijing first launched its "Visit Japanese Enterprises and Feel Japan" program in 2007, the year that marked the 35th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and China and was designated "The Japan-China Exchange Year of Culture and Sports." The program was instituted to give invited Chinese university students a chance to deepen their understanding of Japanese business and culture. As one of the core members of CJCCI, Sumitomo Corporation offers training and homestays for Chinese university students coming to Japan.
Housing the tenth Group of University Students from China The Chinese university students visiting Japan under the "Visit Japanese Enterprises and Feel Japan" program stayed with Japanese families for two days from Saturday, June 2 through Sunday, June 3. The families of two Sumitomo employees participated in the program as hosts, each accepting one student into their homes.
Commemorative photo with Mr. Li (left) in front of Hachiko in Shibuya
Mr. Li Xuesong, a sophomore student at the Beijing Institute of Technology, said that he was studying really hard every day in the hope of being selected as an exchange student to a sister school in Germany in his senior year. On the first day, we had a barbecue at our house, which we had been planning, with two other families who lived in Shanghai at around the same time with us. It was cold outside in December, but Mr. Li helped us prepare for the barbecue. We went grocery shopping together, prepared the charcoal grill and turned the meat. He was a serious student and was not a heavy drinker, unlike my expectation that he would be a Baijiu lover, as is usual with people from Changchun, in Jilin, the northeastern part of China. The men had not had the opportunity to speak Chinese for a while, so they enjoyed the conversation with Mr. Li so much that they talked into the night.
The next day, we visited the places that Mr. Li had requested to go-Meiji Jingu, Jingu, Harajuku and Shibuya, all the places so popular with young people. It was the first time in ages I had visited these places, so I wandered around with Mr. Li. The highlight for us was the food: a crepe in Harajuku and okonomiyaki in Shibuya.
The original request by Mr. Li was to experience a typical weekend for Japanese people. We couldn't offer him anything gorgeous, but I think he experienced what he wanted to and got a glimpse of the life of common Japanese people.
This was the first time for us to accept a foreign student. My son seems to have enjoyed Mr. Li's stay at our house, remembering the days he spent in China (when I was working there). My wife and I agreed that we'd be a host family again when there is an opportunity to do so.