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1,000 Japanese Youngsters Arrive in China for Friendly Visit

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A Japanese youth delegation of 1,000 members arrived in Beijing on Thursday, rounding off this "China-Japan Friendly Exchange Year of the Youth".

The delegation was led by former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and former Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, who is also president of the Association of Dietmen League for Japan-China Friendship.

The delegation consists of 500 high school students, 224 university students and 276 young representatives from various walks of life such as parliamentarians, government officials, businessmen and journalists.

During their stay in Beijing, delegates will attend the closing ceremony of the China-Japan Friendly Exchange Year of the Youth on Saturday. Chinese state leaders will meet them.

Breaking into seven small groups, they will respectively visit such cities as Ningbo, Hangzhou, Jinan and Qingdao in the east, Xi'an and Baoji in the west, Shenzhen and Guangzhou in the south and Dalian and Shenyang in the northeast.

Delegates will hold get-togethers with their Chinese peers, visit factories and rural areas, and exchange views on various topics, which will help them to gain a in-depth and comprehensive understanding about China, said an official from the All-China Youth Federation.

The China-Japan Friendly Exchange Year of the Youth was created last year by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Fukuda when the two met over lunch in Singapore at the Asian Summit in November. A memorandum of understanding on the youth exchange year was signed during Fukuda's China visit in December.

Last month, Chinese Premier Wen and his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso congratulated the success of the China-Japan Youth Friendly Exchange Year in Japan. The two sides spoke highly of the large-scale exchange activities held this year between the youths of the two countries and agreed to work together to continue relevant exchanges.

A series of colorful activities have been held successfully during the youth exchange year as part of the activities to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Peace and Friendship Treaty.

(Xinhua News Agency December 19, 2008)