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Education Division Deputy-Director Addresses the 31st Japanese Solidarity Learning Group Leaving to Visit Taiwan.

Education Division Deputy-Director Addresses the 31st Japanese Solidarity Learning Group Leaving to Visit Taiwan.
Dr. Tony Lin, Deputy-Director of the Education Division in Japan, attended a meeting of members of Friends of the Japanese Spirits just before they began this year’s solidarity-learning visit to Taiwan, the 31st. The Friends of Youth Spirits promotes interactions between Taiwan and Japan, and twenty students from ten Japanese universities* participated in the solidarity-learning group visit to Taiwan between March 4 and March 11.

They visited National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, Taipei University of Science & Technology, and Chinese Culture University, and also visited the Association of East Asian Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China Youth Corps, the Presidential Palace, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Musanto Reservoirs, and Yoich Hatta Memorial Park. Home stays allowed them a more personal glimpse of the everyday lifestyle in Taiwan.

The group that the students are part of, Friends of the Japanese Spirits, was established in 1930 by a Mr. Kubo and officially became a religious corporation in 1952. It now has approximately 5 million Japanese members, with 39 offices in Japan and 16 offices around the globe (including Taiwan). Their religious doctrine is that a person should live as part of a social group; nobody can live alone. Everyone has parents, ancestors, family and friends and should cherish their family and encourage each other to become socially useful.

In 1981, undergraduate students, research students, and college students in the Friends of Youth Spirits group began the Japanese Students Creating Tomorrow Meetings program, based on the concept of “Creating tomorrow’s Japan with your own hands”. This involves going abroad to Taiwan, usually once a year, to interact with students there and do activities together. At least 600 Japanese students have already participated in this youth interaction program.

Dr. Lin addressed the Japanese students on March 4 and gave some information about Taiwan. He particularly encouraged the students to interact a lot with Taiwanese students and expressed his hopes that the Japanese students would understand more about the lifestyle, social, and education systems in Taiwan, make many new friends, and that such new friendships would be enduring.

* The various universities which the students attend are: Chuubu University, Edogawa University, Gakushuin University, Hiroshima City University, Nanshan University, Nihon University, Shinshu University, Takushoku University, Tama Art University, and Teikyo University.