“I don’t want to go to China for free” – an astonishing “deficit” formed in the youth exchanges between China and Japan

– Japan’s Daily “Jiang” [Wednesday, May 10]

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recently, the “Jianzhen plan” for the exchange activities between Chinese and Japanese college students with the theme of commemorating monk Jianzhen has been seriously hindered in Japan. “Japanese college students are paying less attention to China,” said the head of the Japanese organizers The organizers are trying all kinds of ways to carry out the recruitment of Japanese college students, but the reality has poured a basin of cold water on them. The story of

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monk Jianzhen has been written into Japanese middle school textbooks for a long time. It tells the story of two Japanese monks, General Zhao and Rong Rui, who invited him to Japan in Nara era (Tang Dynasty in China) after 11 years of unremitting efforts. It can be said that they are household names. The main purpose of “Jianzhen plan” is to take the story of Jianzhen monk as an opportunity to recruit Japanese college students to visit Jianzhen monk’s footprints together, so as to deepen the mutual exchange and understanding between the youth of the two countries.

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in October 2016, in order to carry out the second activity of “Jianzhen plan”, the relevant principals traveled around Japan. Although funds have been raised and channels have been opened, the most important work of “raising students” has been slow. The application conditions of “Jianzhen plan” are very simple: interested in China, and write an article of 1000 words. Despite the low threshold, only 18 students were finally recruited, which hit the Japanese organizers. In contrast, in the activities of collecting Chinese college students to Japan, the organizers easily collected 65 Chinese college students, and due to the limited number of places, more applicants could not participate. This is in sharp contrast to the Japanese side.

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in a survey of Japanese college students were asked “why don’t you want to visit China?” Most of the answers to the questions were unexpected. Such as territorial issues, ocean development issues, anti Japanese sentiment, etc. Even the unsanitary toilets are listed by many Japanese students. The organizer provides transportation, board and lodging for the “Jian Zhen plan” project, so there is basically no participation fee. However, many Japanese students even said, “even if it’s free, they don’t want to go to China.” When asked about the reason, the other side replied, “I don’t feel anything attractive about China’s affairs, goods and people, and I don’t have the value of spending time and energy to go there.”

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at the same time, the number of Chinese young people traveling and studying in Japan is soaring year by year. This “exchange deficit” between Chinese and Japanese youth is still growing. The unequal exchange of talents makes Japanese young people more and more disdainful to know the neighboring country. There is no doubt that the young people of the two countries who lack communication and understanding will create a greater communication gap in the future. There are not only doubts, suspicions and even hidden triggers of war in that gap. How can

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make Japanese young people come to China to have a look like General Zhao and Rong Rui in the story of monk Jianzhen in those days? This will be an important issue concerning the future of China and Japan and the future of Asia.

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