It was one of the out-of-nowhere things Hu Yaobang did when he was the Party General Secretary. During a state visit to Japan in the November of 1983, he shocked everybody, including his host, by announcing the invitation for 3,000 Japanese youth on a good-will visit to China.
As President Hu Jintao is having his own state visit to Japan, Beijing News carried a recollection of that event a quarter of century ago. Hu Jintao happened to be the General Secretary of the Chiense Communist Youth League at the time and spearheaded the hosting duty.
Danwei provides a summary translation of the recollection.
Hu Yaobang's grandiose gesture was not well received domestically. Most people thought it was a big waste of nation's resources. Many resented the decision after the Japanese government failed to give a reciprocal offer. After Hu Yaobang's downfall in 1986, this event was also included as one of his wrongdoings.
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