On the eve of the anniversary of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami some of Japan's top scientists are winding up a three day workshop in Christchurch.
The workshop aims to identify ways to help devastated regions in New Zealand and Japan recover.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's chief geotechnical engineer Jan Kupec says the visit is just the beginning of what will be a valuable scientific relationship.
Dr Kupec says both countries have reacted to each event differently, so the two have much to learn from each other.
He says the information exchanged could affect the way engineers around the world design earthquake resistant buildings.
The scientists have been working with representatives from Canterbury, Auckland and Massey universities and ended the workshop with an inspection of the devastated city centre.
Dr Kupec says the central city tour was both exciting and sombre for the visitors.