SCU welcomes visitors from Japan
IT WAS meant to be a business research tour but a group of Japanese business leaders with a special spot in their hearts for Australia took time out to pay a "friendly visit" to Southern Cross University (SCU) yesterday.
The relationship between TV Hiroshima, the Japan Australia Society in Hiroshima and SCU was sparked after years of visits from the Isabella A Cappella choir group.
They have performed at various universities across Japan, the Australian Embassy and Tokyo Disneyland.
The musical group, SCU's choir, has performed live on TV Hiroshima's morning show on four occasions during its various visits to the city.
Earlier this year, the choir went on a concert tour of Japan for three weeks to fundraise for Japan's earthquake victims.
They raised more than $3000 for those in need.
Twenty-seven business members from Hiroshima, including TV Hiroshima president Masao Nagano and president of Japan Australia Society Kazuyuki Takaki, visited the Japan Centre Gallery at SCU yesterday.
They presented the university with three cherry blossom trees to commemorate their visit.
Mr Nagano described the university trip as a "friendly visit".
"All other places were for business but this is a special international friendship with Japan," he said via an interpreter.
"I was moved by the Australian people. (Prime Minister Julia Gillard) visited Japan after the earthquake and Australian people are very good to Japan.
"Hiroshima has a strong association with war and I would like to make this a peace visit."
For Mr Takaki, it was his first and hopefully not his last visit to Australia.
"Compared to Japan it is such a big country," he said.
The Isabella A Cappella group leader Dylan Curnow and Japan Centre Committee Tazuko McLaren organised a welcome concert for the international visitors yesterday afternoon.
Ms McLaren said it was very exciting to have such powerful people from Japan visit the university.