Twenty Japanese students, whose studies were severely disrupted by the Kobe earthquake, will arrive in Wales later this month to take up university places in the principality.
The five postgraduate and 15 undergraduate students will spend one academic year in Wales, studying mainly business, economics and technology courses. They will be accommodated by the University of Wales, and higher education colleges in Swansea, Cardiff and Gwent.
The students have been selected for the programme by the British Council and their local Hyogo prefecture government in Japan. All have suffered personal loss as a result of the earthquake, and many are enrolled at universities located within the disaster area.
The students will be financed by the Welsh Office, which has agreed to pay their tuition fees; their travel costs to and from Japan, and to provide them with a grant to live on.
According to Secretary of State William Hague, the programmes established to mark over 20 years of close industrial partnership between Wales and Japan. That has resulted in the establishment of over 40 Japanese-owned manufacturing companies in Wales, which employ 12,500 people.
"A special relationship has developed between our two countries," said Mr Hague. "We hope that the Kobe students' stay in Wales will cement these links still further."