• Cross-border letters pass friendship, help, hope


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    Peking University, June 21, 2011: Kayo Fukushima, a student at the sixth grade of Koriyama City Elementary School Kon Tooru, Fukushima Prefecture, received a special gift from China on June 18, 2011.


    A month ago, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the disaster-stricken areas during his official visit to Japan. Kayo Fukushima and her little sister met Premier Wen.


    To express her gratitude to Premier Wen and her longing for China, she wrote a letter to Premier Wen, expressing her hope to "go to Peking University to study and better understand China" and to "do something to strengthen Japan-China friendship in the future."


    To her surprise, Premier Wen wrote back to her. In the letter of reply, Premier Wen writes:


      Dear Kayo Fukushima,


      You letter, painting and photo have been received. I'm very happy. I have invited the children from the disaster-hit regions in Japan to spend their vacation in China. I know that you love China and I hope you can come to China.


      Wish you and your family health and happiness!


      Wen Jiabao
      June 11, 2011


    Premier Wen Jiabao's letter



    A short reply again brings encouragement and support to the Japanese people living in affected areas. Looking at forceful and vigorous brush strokes and characters in the letter, Kayo Fukushima was full of joy on her face.


    A month ago on May 21, Kayo Fukushima's family was very moved to learn that the Chinese Premier is going to visit the disaster-hit regions in Japan. They, together with many local residents and overseas Chinese, carried their cameras and came out very early to wait at the west exit of Fukushima Station of Shinkansen. When Premier Wen arrived at the station, the people waiting there could not help cheering up. Premier Wen shook hands with them and Kayo Fukushima. Premier Wen also affectionately touched her little sister's face, a moment Kayo Fukushima would never forget.


    She wrote down what she saw and felt in the letter to Premier Wen:


      Premier Wen Jiabao:


      Hello! It is presumptuous for me to write to you for the first time. Please allow me to do some self-introduction. My name is Kayo Fukushima. I'm studying at the six grade of Koriyama City Elementary School Kon Tooru. Thank you for making a special trip to come and see us in Fukushima Prefecture.


      My parents, my little sister and I got up very early in morning and took the cameras to wait at the west exit of Fukushima Station, waiting for your arrival. Together with us, there were many aunts, uncles and children of my age, waiting at the west exit. There were also a lot of people carrying shopping bags in the crowd.


      Before the arrival of Premier Wen, Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan and President of the Republic of Korea Lee Myung-bak have been here already. Why haven't Premier Wen arrived yet? While I was nervous but hopeful, the van you took finally appeared. At that moment, the crowd immediately burst into cheers. We warmly applauded the arrival of Premier Wen. You got down the van and waved to us. You were so dashing and charming. You are worthy of the leader of a big nation. 


      You shook hands with us. You also came to the middle of the children. To my surprise, you also shook hands with me! Your hand was very warm and I felt very cordial. I was too touched to even remember the Chinese word "welcome" I have learned. You were also kind to touch my sister's cheek. She was very happy. We would never forget this happy moment.


      Since April when we go to school and get home from school every day and when we go out, we have to wear hats and masks and wear long trousers. It is very uncomfortable. It will soon be the summer time and it will certainly more uncomfortable. How I hope I could play outside freely just as before.


      I learned from the newspaper that Premier Wen would come to Fukushima to encourage us. On the cardboard in the shelter, you wrote down "to live with a smile," which gives me great strength and courage.


      I like China very much, particularly Chinese characters, giant panda, and music. Each time I visit China, I will go to see the lovely pandas. I am now learning the violin and I can play a little bit of "Butterfly Lovers." The melody is nice. In the history classes, we are learning the history of thriving exchanges between Japan and China. The story of Onono Imoko is very moving. In the Mandarin classes, we have already learned Meng Haoran's poem, "Asleep in spring, I don't perceive the dawn." It is really a good poem!


      In the future I will continue studying Chinese and strive to read and write in Chinese. How wonderful it would be if I can communicate with the Chinese students in Chinese! I hope to go to Peking University to study and better understand China. I aspire to do something to strengthen Japan-China friendship in the future. I will study hard. I hope you can give me encouragement and support.


      This time my sister also had the pleasure to meet you. She was greatly moved. To express her gratitude, she drew a painting, which is sent to you in this letter. Please do accept her gift.


      Finally, I sincerely wish every success in your work and wish the Japan-China friendship long lasting.


      Kayo Fukushima
      Sixth Grade, Koriyama City Elementary School Kon Tooru
      Fukushima Prefecture, Japan
      May 28, 2011


      Postscript: I enclose the photograph my sister and I took on the way to school.


    Two cross-border letters have passed the friendship and help and conveyed the moving and friendly feelings. The casual encounter between Chinese Premier and a little Japanese friend in front of a devastating disaster has reflected the most valuable and genuine feelings between the Japanese and Chinese people.



    Extended Reading:

    Love shown for Japan and Yunnan victims

    PKU professor talks about Japanese nuclear accident

    PUTH rescue team ready to go to Japan for nuclear radiation emergency

    Film show: NHK Emergency Reporting of the Japan earthquake

    President Zhou Qifeng's letter to PKU Japanese teachers and students


    Edited by: Jacques
    China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs