Primary school symbolises Japanese girl’s appreciation of Vietnam hinh anh 1Junko primary school (Source:
There is a primary school in the central province of Quang Nam that is closely linked with the story of a Japanese girl named Junko.

Born in 1973 in Tokyo, Junko Takahashi studied at the International Relations Department of the Meiji Gakuin University.

In 1993, she visited Vietnam as part of her university’s exchange programme. The visit was transformative for Junko, especially when she came to poor areas and witnessed the children learning in very difficult conditions.

From then on Junko felt compelled to use her salary after graduation to support disadvantaged Vietnamese children.

Unfortunately, Junko was involved in a traffic accident in Japan and passed away when she was only 20 years old. Therefore her dream to help Vietnamese students, which was written in her diary, could not been realised.

Knowing this, Junko’s family strived to help her realise her dream.

Rector of the Junko primary school Tran Cong Truong explained the birth of his school.

He said the school was built in 1995, formerly known as Hoang Hoa Tham School, in Dien Phuoc commune. In 2013, it was renamed Junko.

Although Junko never visited that commune, her family selected Dien Phuoc to build a primary school through the recommendations of Junko’s professors.

Dien Phuoc commune is a poor area and vulnerable to floods. In 1990s, the construction of a school for children was the dream of many locals there.

Knowing the wish of Junko’s family, local authorities and residents handed over 3,000 square meters of paddy field for the construction of the school.

After nearly 9 months of construction, the school was inaugurated in early September 1995 right at the start of the new school year.

Initially, the school had eight classrooms but was later increased to 26 spanning 8,000 square meters.

Junko is one of five primary schools in Quang Nam province that meet national standards, attracting nearly 550 students.

Since its establishment, the name Junko has become close to Dien Phuoc residents.

In Japan, the Junko association was established through the engagement of teachers and students from Japanese universities. Annually, the association’s members visit the Junko primary school to grant scholarships for needy students and organise cultural exchanges.

Every year, the school organises a ceremony to commemorate Junko and her dream.

Junko primary school – born 20 years ago from the love of a Japanese girl for Vietnam – has become a bridge to tighten the friendship between Vietnamese and Japanese people.-VNA