SOLOMON ISLANDS YOUTH TO JOIN JAPANESE EXCHANGE PROGRAM

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (December 8, 1998 - PACNEWS/SIBC)---Thirteen Solomon Islanders will take part in Japanese government sponsored youth exchange program early next year.

The program, titled "Ship for World Youth," involves over 270 participants from 13 countries, including Japan. They will sail the South Pacific Ocean in a Japanese tourist boat, the Nippon Maru.

The Japanese Embassy's Akira Ichioka says the program's goal is to foster the spirit of international co-operation, while promoting friendship and mutual understanding among participants.

The Nippon Maru will call at several Pacific Island countries, including the Solomon Islands, Tonga, French Polynesia and Hawai‘i, and the countries of Ecuador and Mexico in the Americas.

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