HK signs working holiday scheme with Japan

22:10, October 27, 2009      

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Hong Kong and Japan exchanged a Note Verbale here on Tuesday to mark the establishment of a new bilateral working holiday scheme to benefit young people of the two places from Jan. 1, 2010.

The letters for exchanging the Note Verbale were signed by Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Hong Kong's Secretary for Labor and Welfare, and Shigekazu Sato, Japanese Consul-General and Ambassador.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Cheung said Japan was the first Asian country to establish a working holiday scheme with Hong Kong. The scheme will strengthen the bilateral ties between Japan and Hong Kong.

The Working Holiday Scheme seeks to enable young people to gain first-hand living and working experience in a foreign culture while they are holidaying.

"Japan is one of the most favored tourist destinations of Hong Kong people and also Hong Kong's third largest trading partner. The scheme with Japan offers a golden opportunity for our young people to learn more about life in Japan by taking up temporary jobs while touring around and making friends," Mr. Cheung said.

The scheme with Japan is the fifth bilateral working holiday scheme that Hong Kong has signed with other places. Hong Kong established such bilateral schemes with New Zealand and Australia in 2001, Ireland in 2005 and Germany in 2009.

So far, more than 9,200 Hong Kong youngsters have benefited from their stay in these countries while 1,260 young people from New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Germany have experienced Hong Kong's cosmopolitan and vibrant way of life.

There are 250 places per year from each side under the scheme with Japan. Participants will be allowed to stay up to 12 months in each other's territory for holiday and to take up employment to finance their stay.

Source: Xinhua
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