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Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009

Canada fetes ties with programs

Staff writer

The Canadian Embassy called on Japanese schools and students Friday to apply for education-related programs it will launch to celebrate the 80th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Japan this year.

As part of its Youth and Innovation venture, the embassy said Friday it is offering scholarships of ¥80,000 each to 80 Japanese citizens of any age wishing to study in Canada for two weeks or longer.

Applicants are asked to submit an essay on the theme "Imagine your future — Innovation is your link to Canada!" in Japanese, English or French.

"We want applicants to consider how they can contribute to Japan-Canada relations after the study experience," said embassy spokeswoman Kikue Kanao, who added that those who study in Canada tend to applaud its security and quality of education.

To further promote study in Canada, fairs will be held in Tokyo on March 27 and 28 and in Osaka on March 29.

"Although the current economic situation is severe, the Canadian dollar is weakening, so we hope this will be good timing for students hoping to study abroad," said Christine Nakamura, an embassy councilor.

In another commemorative project, the embassy is inviting schools across Japan to apply for outreach visits by embassy staff. A total of 80 institutions ranging from elementary schools to universities — but particularly junior high schools — will be selected for the school year beginning in April. They will be given lessons and lectures about the cultural and historical aspects of Canada.

The embassy said its staff will offer 80 groups of students guided tours of the mission.

Access the embassy Web site www.canadanet.or.jp/ for more information on the programs.

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