The Japanese students, from Tamagawa University in Tokyo, are part of the Victoria Japan Global Exchange Programme and were congratulated on turning 20, the official age of adulthood in Japan.
The coming of age ceremony, also known as “seijin shiki”, included speeches by Minister Herbert, the Consul-General and students from Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria University and Deakin University.
Students were also greeted by some native Australian animals including possums, wombats, snakes and a bearded dragon.
“This is a day many will remember for the rest of their young lives”
“It is a brave decision to study overseas,” said Haneda. “This is a day many will remember for the rest of their young lives. It is one that would not be possible without the kind generosity of the Victorian government.”
“Today is very special because I thought I could not celebrate my coming of age,” said Taku Haradu, who is spending her exchange at Swinburne University.
“I am very happy to be here and have told my all my family and friends back home. The people of Melbourne have been very kind. I will never forget my time in Australia,” she added.
Formed in 2012, the Victoria Japan Global Exchange Programme is a partnership between Tamagawa University, Swinburne University of Technology, Victoria University and Deakin University, to facilitate cultural and educational exchange.
More than 25,800 students from Japan have studied in Victoria over the last 10 years.