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Issue #1436      18 November 2009

Chinese Premier meets Japanese war orphans

In cold weather, 45 Japanese war orphans revisiting China to thank their Chinese foster families received a warm welcome in Beijing. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met them, mostly in their seventies, in the Zhongnanhai compound.

The Japanese orphans were those who had been left behind by their parents after the eight-year Japanese Aggression War against China. More than 2,800 Japanese orphans were adopted by the Chinese people and most of them went back to Japan in the 1980s and 1990s after normalisation of bilateral ties.

The thanksgiving gathering was organised to express the war orphans’ gratitude to their foster families, but the visit is, to some extent, an emotional one as many of their foster parents have died.

“We care about the living conditions of the orphans after they returned back to Japan, and I believe that everybody will live a happy and stable life though their own efforts and by support from the Japanese government,” said Wen in talks with the delegation.

Wen said the war orphans will feel again the love given by their foster parents and the deep friendship between the Chinese and Japanese people during their stay in China.

The war orphans have been active in promoting Japan-China friendship since they returned back to Japan. They raised funds to build a primary school named China-Japan Friendship Hope School in the aftermath of the Sichuan earthquake last year, said Wen.

History tells us that “peace between China and Japan leads to mutual benefits, and rivalry is damaging to both.”

China-Japan friendship confirms to the fundamental interests of the two peoples and to develop friendly cooperation is of great significance to Asia, the world as well as the two countries, Wen said.

Members of the delegation said although they now live in Japan, they still miss their family members and home towns in China.


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