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Japanese volunteers take up positions today

A GROUP of Japanese volunteers will go on duty at the Expo site today as the first batch of foreign volunteers from outside the country.

You can find them wearing the same green clothes as local volunteers near the Japan Pavilion and the Japan Industry Pavilion.

A total of 75 Japanese volunteers will serve at the Expo site until mid-August in two batches.

The 36 members in the first batch are mainly university students and retirees, aged between 20 to 66. Some of them have volunteering experience from the 2005 Expo in Japan's Aichi Prefecture.

About half of them can speak Chinese well, while others have a good command of English.

"Though I am good at Chinese, I'm still worried that I won't be able to catch what others say," said Hamaya Nobuko, 43. "Chinese from different provinces have very different accents. It's hard for me understand if they speak too fast."

The Japanese volunteers reached the city last Friday and received training on a local campus and underwent on-the-spot drills at the Expo site over the past three days.


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