Cultural ties between the CNMI and Japan continue to flourish despite a decline in Japanese tourist arrivals that was precipitated by the departure of Japan Airlines in 2005.
Japan Consul Koji Hino said the cultural ties between the two islands are being cultivated by the growing number of student cultural exchanges between the CNMI and Japan.
“Student exchanges have been remarkably active between CNMI and Japan. In August, the Kakehashi project—called ‘Bridge for Tomorrow’—of our Ministry of Foreign Affairs had invited 23 students of Marianas High School to Japan,” he said Tuesday when the Consular Office of Japan hosted local dignitaries and overseas Japanese during Emperor Akihito’s 80th birthday celebration at the Hafadai Beach Hotel.
Hino said CNMI exchange students stayed in Japan for about 10 days and enjoyed various cultural exchange programs and home stay in Kyushu.
“After their trip to Japan, some students expressed their wishes to study at Japanese universities. This is marvelous. I hope that more CNMI students focus not only on U.S. universities but also on Japanese universities in the future.”
Last September about 50 students of the Ehime University came to Saipan for educational training.
“At that time, the professor of this group told me that Saipan is a suitable place for this kind of training because the security is good and application procedure is very simple. His remarks were good news to me.”
The Izumi High School in Osaka is also planning to visit Saipan next year.
“Student exchange is reaching high level these days, and we can expect rosy future in this area. This is a new and welcome trend,” said Hino.
Hino also asked for the CNMI’s support for Japan’s bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
“As you probably know, Tokyo was nominated as the venue for the Olympics in 2020. Until then we should do our utmost to achieve complete recovery from the damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami. Otherwise Japanese government cannot receive the understanding and support from the participants and visitors from all over the world. I would therefore like to ask you again for your support and assistance.”