Twenty-six students from Nagaoka City Jr. High School in Japan arrived Tuesday for their annual cultural exchange program with counterparts from Mount Carmel School.
“The students are excited to visit the CNMI for the first time and are looking forward to meeting with their counter-partners on Friday for cultural exchange plus home-stay,” said PDI director Gordon I. Marciano. PDI is the group's ground handler on Saipan.
Accompanied by five teachers and a tour coordinator, the students began their weeklong tour yesterday with a World War II peace lecture followed by a ceremony at the Japanese Memorial Tower in Marpi to pay respects to all who perished during the war and to pray for world peace.
The visiting group also did some sightseeing yesterday at various historic and tourist spots, including the Last Command Post, Banzai Cliff, Suicide Cliff, American Memorial Park, Sugar King Park, and the Old Japanese Jail.
They are scheduled to spend the entire Wednesday on Managaha Island. Tomorrow, the Japanese students will begin their homestay with their host families.
The entire group will have a chance to shop for island souvenirs on Monday before they fly back to Japan the next day.
“They've extended their utmost appreciation for [Marianas Visitors Authority] for providing a warm hafa adai and tirow spirit along with Saipanda bags as gifts to each of the students. In addition, they would like to thank the CNMI Parks and Recreation for maintaining the site of the Japanese memorial. They appreciate very much the kind hospitality from all,” said Marciano.