Feb. 27, 2019

Signing ceremony held for third memorandum on supporting Chinese students in impoverished areas

Sumitomo Corporation has been providing educational assistance to students living in impoverished areas of Yunnan Province since 2008.

On February 18 2019, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Yonghua Cheng, Sumitomo Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Masayuki Hyodo, and General Manager for East Asia Fumihiro Koba (CEO of Sumitomo Corporation China Group) signed a third five-year memorandum on such assistance. Over the next five years, 50 million yen will be donated to the Sumitomo Corporation Chinese Student Assistance Fund, founded in 2008, to maintain support for high school students from poverty-stricken households so they may continue their studies.

The Chinese central government has the Government Poverty Alleviation Projects, the various ministries and agencies relief their support to impoverished areas throughout the country, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has been engaged in assistance efforts in Jinping and Malipo counties of Yunnan Province since 1992..Sumitomo Corporation made an offer to the Chinese government to support students in poor mountainous farming villages, which led to the establishment of a joint scheme with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help students from poverty-stricken households attend high school. Under the first and second memoranda, a total of 6,643 students reportedly received support over the past 10 years, with 99% of the recent recipients going on to university or technical college.

Chinese Ambassador to Japan Yonghua Cheng (center), Sumitomo Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Masayuki Hyodo (left), and General Manager for East Asia Fumihiro Koba (right) affirming their collaborative relationship.

Ambassador Cheng expressed his appreciation, saying, “I am truly impressed and moved to hear that 99% of the support recipients have pursued further education. I believe that allowing students to receive continued education throughout elementary, junior high and senior high school will drive the country’s future development. On behalf of the students, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for Sumitomo Corporation’s valuable support.”

We hope these activities can further promote exchange between Japan and China and contribute as possible as in such way  to the development of the local communities by helping impoverished students with the ability and desire to learn and grow.

A gathering with support recipients was held in Jinping.
Both Jinping and Malipo counties are economically backward areas, with 99% of their territory covered in mountains.
In May 2018, Sumitomo Corporation employees visited Jinping and interacted with the students.