Returning from Japan, elderly man chases dream in Hainan

Updated: January 4, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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George Meicho Fu has been commuting between Hainan and Japan a lot in recent years.

HAIKOU, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- George Meicho Fu has been commuting between Hainan and Japan a lot in recent years.

Fu, 72, is a Chinese-Japanese businessman. Fu was born in Wenchang, a city in south China's Hainan Province.

He moved to Hong Kong with his parents when he was eight. After obtaining his bachelor's degree in the United States, Fu worked for a shipping company in Hong Kong. In 1977, he was sent abroad to work in its Japan branch.

He has lived and worked in Japan for over 40 years. That's why he can speak English, Japanese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and a Wenchang dialect.

Even though Fu has left Wenchang for several decades, he has also made efforts to give back to his community by helping rebuild a primary school in his hometown and establishing scholarships for underprivileged students.

"I found the study conditions in the countryside in my hometown were harsh. I left there several decades ago, so I decided to rebuild the Changsa Overseas Chinese Primary School," Fu said.

To raise funds, Fu contacted around 600 people from home and abroad for help, and a total of 4 million yuan (about 579,945 U.S. dollars) was used to rebuild the school.

"Children are like pieces of blank paper. Education can shape a man," Fu said.

A new school, covering an area of 50 mu (about 3 hectares), with many teaching and dormitory buildings, and a huge gym, was built in 2005.

After that, Fu came back to Japan for work. As the chairman of the Hainan Chamber of Commerce in Japan, he assisted the Hainan provincial government with a meeting in Tokyo in 2018 to introduce investment to Hainan.

At that time, Fu realized Hainan's opportunities for the future. In 2019, he came back to Hainan to start his own business.

He opened a restaurant making Japanese cuisine in Haikou, the capital of Hainan Province.

"I am determined to bring culinary and service culture back to Hainan. Japanese service is all about the details, so I pay attention to training my staff in service and details, like how to smile and greet clients," Fu said.

Hainan is one of China's major overseas Chinese hometowns. They come back every year for festivals. Fu's restaurant is a place for them to get together. People drink tea, have meals, meet each other, and communicate there.

Inside the restaurant, a sign reads "Home of Overseas Chinese." Fu organizes meetings for entrepreneurs monthly to introduce Japanese companies to Hainan free trade port.

"I want to facilitate exchanges between Japan and China in the future," Fu said.

Editor: Jiang Feifan