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Language teacher from Japan joins volunteers in fight against virus

By ZHOU HUIYING in Harbin and HAN JUNHONG in Changchun | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-04-09 09:20
Yamazaki Yumiko gives online class to her student. Photo provided to China Daily

Editor's note: In this series, we share stories and experiences showing how expats are dealing with the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak.

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, Yamazaki Yumiko decided to return to China early from her hometown in Japan's Sendai city in late January.

Yamazaki, 57, runs a foreign language institute with her husband in Changchun, capital of China's Jilin province.

"I had planned to return on Feb 3 after spending the Spring Festival holiday with my son, who is studying in a college in Japan," she said.

"When I got the news that the educational institutes might be asked to suspend (classes) due to the epidemic, I decided to come back to take online classes for my students even though neither my husband nor my son agreed with me."

"Besides, I wanted to stay with my Chinese students, friends and relatives through their hard days," she said.

"I will never forget the day when a magnitude 9 earthquake hit eastern Japan in March 2011. Local residents showed full support and sent their best wishes to my motherland."

Back then, local Chinese hung banners that said, "Stay Strong, Japan "along the busiest streets of Changchun, she recalled.

Some college students volunteered to raise donations for the disaster rescue.

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