There are two things that Kerala should learn from Japan, punctuality and cleanliness, say 13 students who have just returned from Japan after a 10-day visit to the Land of the Rising Sun as part of a cultural exchange programme.

The students, selected from various schools across the State, were interacting with A. Shajahan, Director of Public Instruction, at the University Stadium here on Thursday.

Part of a 100-member delegation, comprising 92 students and eight teachers from different States, members of the Kerala team said even their approach to punctuality had changed by the time the trip was over.

Those who had trooped in an hour late the first day had begun turning up half-an-hour in advance on the final day, they quipped, pointing out that their guides during the trip had been ‘very patient’ and ‘extremely kind’.

In awe

Even while being in awe of the cleanliness they saw in the streets of Japan, there was one more point that the students wanted to tell Mr. Shajahan.

“They barely know English, but still their country is so developed. And though they manufacture so many automobiles, pollution is a bare minimum,” they said.