Friends in Japan get masks from Yunnan

One evening in early April, Ding Huilan, president of the Japan Yunnan Friendship Association, who lives in Tokyo, received a phone call offering donation from Dali, Yunnan province, in China.

"I have discussed with my classmates. We want to make donations for the association's staff who are helping the Japanese fight against the epidemic, and we are preparing to donate masks," said Xia Yu, a 2017 class graduate from Kunming Girls' High School in Yunnan.

Founded in 2000, Japan Yunnan Friendship Association is made up of members of Japanese corporations and individuals. Since its establishment, the association has been funding educational poverty-relief activities in minority areas of Yunnan for a long time. Through the program, the association has forged a deep friendship with Kunming Girls' High School and its students.

With the spread of COVID-19, Japan is facing a shortage in materials to control the outbreak. The girls, who had received the association's help, care deeply about the situation in Japan and that prompted Xia and two other students to launch a charity fundraising activity.

"When I heard what she said, I felt surprised and touched," Ding says about receiving the call. "But I really don't want them to spend a lot of money. I have repeatedly declined."

But the students were determined to help. In a short period of time, Xia and her classmates received donations from 233 school graduates. The money was spent on buying masks that were quickly sent in batches to Japan.

"The warm action of the students showed their kindness and the moral character of repaying gratitude," Ding says. "We believe that China and Japan, through a joint effort, will overcome this difficulty and achieve the final victory in the fight against the pandemic."

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