The ninth China-Japan-Korea YMCA Peace Forum was hosted in Shanghai from February 1 to 4. Over 60 senior and youth representatives from the Chinese, Japanese, and Korean YMCAs participated in the forum.
The theme of the forum was "Promotion of Peace, Mutual Assistance, and Common Progress: Harmony with Oneself, Community, and Nature." Through keynote speeches, field visits, and group discussions, historical perspectives were developed and bridges of friendship were built, according to YMCA-YWCA in China.
Chen Xin, president of the National Council of YMCAs of China (NCY China), Ryushi Kawamoto, president of NCY Japan, and Professor Kim Heung-Soo, president of NCY Korea, delivered speeches on peace during the forum. Throughout the event, delegates visited the Luxun and Uchiyama Memorial Bookstore, as well as the residence of Y. T. Wu or Wu Yao-tsung, to learn about grassroots friendship and peace stories.
Mr. Kanzo Uchiyama, who had previously participated in the work of the Japanese YMCA in Shanghai, dedicated his life to promoting Chinese stories and cultural exchange, considering China as his second homeland. Mr. Lu Xun planted the seeds of friendship for people-to-people exchanges and cultural interactions between China and Japan. Mr. Y. T. Wu incorporated the idea of "God is Love" into the YMCA movement.
During the forum, representatives were divided into senior and youth groups for discussion. Senior leaders shared their experiences with peace initiatives and philosophies, fostering the transmission of wisdom to the younger generation. Youth representatives from the three countries shared their perspectives on peace and the responsibilities they should undertake from a youth standpoint. They discussed how youth organizations and individuals could contribute to humanistic exchanges that were future-oriented and resilient, translating their knowledge and thoughts into actions to promote peace.
Professor Hu Lingyuan, chair of the Institute of International Studies and director at the Center for Japanese Studies at Fudan University, delivered a keynote speech titled "Sailing the Boat of Peace: Mission, Responsibility, and Path of Youth in a Century of Changes." Besides the current geopolitical situation in East Asia, he discussed crises and peace, emphasizing that the selection of the path to peace in East Asia should transcend history and that a vision of peace should be achieved through progressive efforts.
NCY China secretary-general Hao Zhiqiang presided over the closing ceremony. The participating representatives reached a consensus that the forum was just the beginning of the action to find peace. Only by putting the idea of peace into practice can concrete steps be taken toward peacebuilding.
Initiated in 2004, the forum is held approximately every two years, with the China YMCA, Japan YMCA, and Korea YMCA taking turns organizing it. Senior leaders and youth from the three countries now participate in the China-Japan-Korea YMCA Peace Forum, which has developed into an institutionalized joint peace education initiative.
- Translated by Abigail Wu