Three members of the Fukagawa International Friendship Society (FIFS), from Abbotsford’s sister city, arrived in Abbotsford today (Friday, Oct. 7) to strengthen ties between the two communities and to look at enhancing its home-stay program here.
Yukiko Kamigaki, chair of the Fukagawa board of education, and Yoshiko Kutsuwada and Yasuko Yokota, members of FIFS, will be billeted at the homes of three Abbotsford families.
The visitors will embark on a rigorous schedule of lunches, meetings, meet-and-greets, shopping, tours and a Thanksgiving dinner, said Aird Flavelle, vice-president of the Canada Japan Friendship Association.
Professor Satoshi Kotaki, FIFS president, said the two-week summer program for his Fukagawa students is highly valued.
“About100 students from Fukagawa have participated in this program since it first began almost 14 years ago. We wish to discuss ways to ensure that it continues for future years.”
Kotaki said that during his stay in Abbotsford in late August, a discussion with the Canada Japan Friendship Association of the Fraser Valley showed Abbotsford was eager to send students to Fukagawa and build on international relations.
If the program is finalized, Kotaki said “our program will be a real exchange.
“We will be able to offer home stay and provide students with many opportunities to join various activities during their time here.”