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.
Akio Hattori, Assistant to General Manager, Mineral Resources Division No. 2
My family hosted Ms. Gan Wenhua, who studies Japanese at the School of International Studies, Peking University. Ms. Gan, the third student who has stayed with us under this program, was born in Henan Province and studied very hard to get into China’s top university. Her Japanese was impressively fluent, though it has been a mere two years since she began to learn the language.
My family spent two action-packed days with our newest international visitor. On the first day, I picked Ms. Gan up with my wife and daughter, and took her on a sightseeing tour of popular spots around Tokyo. Starting at the newly opened Tokyo Skytree, we then visited an aquarium and the old town area of Asakusa, where we ate lunch before boarding a riverboat that took us to the Hamarikyu garden. At the request of Ms. Gan, who wanted to experience the everyday activities of a typical Japanese household, we returned home before evening and spent a substantial amount of time preparing and eating dinner together. As a special meal that evening, we cooked curry and gyoza dumplings using foodstuffs we chose at the supermarket with her on the way home. The next day, we went to a UNIQLO store, a 100 Yen shop and other places to buy souvenirs and presents for her family and friends. She took great care to choose suitable items for each person within her budget. Having assisted her in her meticulous efforts, we were pleased to see her finally content with the results before it was time to bid her goodbye. As with previous visitors from China, we had a really pleasant time with Ms. Gan and wished we could have spent more time together.
Toshiya Akaishi, Assistant to General Manager, Information Technologies Planning & Promotion Dept.
My family hosted Mr. Niu Junyu, a student at Beijing Jiaotong University. On the first day, after picking up our guest in Akasaka, we went on a trip to a number of major tourist spots: riding a tourist boat on the Sumida River, getting off at Asakusa to visit Sensoji Temple, then going back to walk around Meiji Shrine and the Harajuku shopping area. On the way home before evening set in, we dropped in to a nearby supermarket to provide Mr. Niu with a more ordinary look at an aspect of life in Japan. That evening we had a lively conversation over dinner, with Mr. Niu sharing details about his university life and his impressions of this international program and all of us discussing famous spots in China we had visited while I was working there.
The second day began with a visit to the top of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building in Shinjuku to get a bird’s eye view of central Tokyo. Then we went to an electronics store in the same neighborhood before heading off to Shibuya to take a stroll around the shopping streets there. Knowing Mr. Niu to be an avid basketball fan, we took him to an NBA store, where he came across a T-shirt featuring the uniform number of his favorite player and made the purchase with considerable excitement.
Through this experience, we are confident that we helped Mr. Niu get a better understanding of Japan. Among his comments, I was particularly pleased that he proclaimed himself greatly impressed by the beautiful city and nice people. For our part, the home stay program has given us a window into the views and interests of young Chinese people. The two days was not a long time but was fairly meaningful in that it provided us with fresh insights arising out of a different perspective than that which I had as an expatriate in China.
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