Ishikari exchange falls victim to tsunami

No Campbell River high school students will go on an exchange to Japan next year, in light of the massive earthquake and tsunami that swept the country in March

No Campbell River high school students will go on an exchange to Japan next year, in light of the massive earthquake and tsunami that swept the country in March.

Each year, Campbell River and the Japanese city Ishikari, typically exchange two senior secondary students for an entire school year as part of its sister city commitment.

Through their studies, students are exposed to the other country’s culture.

But next year, the trip to Ishikari will be cancelled as Japan continues to deal with the fall out from the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant that dispersed radiation across parts of the country, and even as far as B.C.

“Ishikari International Association advised us that it would be best to not send any students so there will be no senior exchange next year,” Coun. Andy Adams told city council at last week’s Tuesday meeting. “There will, however, be an opportunity to go the following year should everything return to normal by then.”

This is the second trip to Ishikari, which sustained no damage from either the earthquake or the tsunami, to be called off.

The young ambassadors trip during spring break was cancelled, largely due to the fact the group of students’ flight went through Tokyo which suffered significant structural damage.

One of two high school students in Ishikari on the senior exchange also had to return home after the earthquake.

Adams said although Campbell River will not be sending any students Japan’s way, the city will still play host to two students from Ishikari. He said School District 72 is in the process of interviewing students who will begin classes here in September.

Campbell River will also still host a group of young ambassadors from Ishikari next spring.

“Things are moving along,” said Adams. “There’s been a little blip but we hope to get back on track as soon as they get a handle on things in Japan.”

The Campbell River Twinning Society is still raising money to help those in Japan that were struck by the disaster to get back on their feet.

Anyone who would like to donate can visit the society’s website: twinningcr.bc.ca