With ties first made by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, American high school students pay visit to town in Hiroshima Prefecture

by Daisuke Matsumoto, Staff Writer

Thirteen high school students from Americus, a city in the U.S. state of Georgia, visited the town of Konu in Miyoshi, Hiroshima Prefecture, to take part in an exchange program with local residents. Americus is the hometown of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who has ties with the town of Konu.

The program is part of a mutual exchange that began when Mr. Carter visited the town back in 1990. Arriving in Konu on the evening of April 14, the students stayed at nine homes in town and toured such places as local temples and companies. On April 16, they visited Konu Junior High School to take part in music and Japanese classes, enjoying a performance of the Japanese koto, a musical instrument, and traditional calligraphy with the local students.

The American students tried their hand at calligraphy, taking up brush and ink, and the Japanese students made efforts to guide them in English. Koki Hori, 14, a third-year student at Konu Junior High School, said, “I managed to communicate with them, including about baseball and other things.” Tierra Nunn, 16, who visited the town last year, too, said with enthusiasm that the scenery in Konu is lovely and that the people in the town are all very kind.

The group from the United States also visited Konu Elementary School and Hichi Elementary School and took part in a welcome ceremony held by local residents on April 17. They will depart the area on April 18.

(Originally published on April 17, 2014)