Seminar & Forum Shared Culture · Shared Future — TCS hosts East Asia Culture Symposium in Yangzhou, China 2023.04.28
On April 28, 2023, the East Asia Culture Symposium jointly organzied by the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS) and Yangzhou People’s Municipal Government was held in Yangzhou, China under the theme of “Shared Culture · Shared Future”. Around 80 persons attended the Symposium, including Executive Vice Mayor CHEN Kaihong of Yangzhou, China, Vice Mayor LIU Liu of Yangzhou, China, Mayor NAKAGAWA Gen of Nara, Japan, Mayor JOO Nak-young of Gyeongju, ROK, Vice President HU Zhengyue of China Public Diplomacy Association, President RO Jae-hun of ROK East Asia Culture Center, Director CHIKAMATSU Shigehiro of Council of Local Authorities for International Relation (Beijing), Deputy Consul-General of Japan in Shanghai TAKENAKA Keiichi, Deputy Consul of ROK in Shanghai HAN Sangkook. 17 participants of “East Asia Culture City” Media and Internet Celebrities Tour and teachers and students from Yangzhou Tourism & Business Vocational School were also in attendance. 

In her opening remarks, TCS Secretary-General Amb. OU Boqian stressed out the importance of fostering a shared culture and a shared future by the three countries under current circumstances. She said, while maintaining their uniqueness, the three historic and cultural cities —Yangzhou, Nara and Gyeongju— carries many historic legacies and similar culture symbols. Culture is a ting for sharing rather than alienating us. The common cultural values and similar ways of thinking shared by the three peoples in East Asia are valuable assets of Trilateral Cooperation. Despite being attacked by narrow nationalism and even populist extremism, if our ancestors had enough wisdom to forge a harmonious East Asian common culture, we can also shape a prosperous and shared future by joining our hands. Harmony, diversity and coexistence are the most important characteristics of the three countries cultures, as well as the expectation of the people of the three countries. TCS will work with all communities of the three countries to maintain and promote "Lasting Peace, Common Prosperity and Shared Culture" in the region. 

Exective Vice Mayor CHEN Kaihong, Deputy Consul-General TAKENAKA Keiichi and Deputy Consul-General HAN Sangkook delievered congratulatory remarks. Vice President Hu Zhengyue, President RO Jaehun and Director CHIKAMATSU Shigehiro delivered keynote speeches. 

Vice President Hu said, the current complexity of international and regional landscapes generates difficulties but also new opportunities, and the so-called economic, scientific and technical “decoupling” does not meet the fundamental interests of the three countries. It is deepened integration and common development that reflect the greatest needs for peace and stability of East Asia. He encouraged the younger generations of the three countries to voice in a more rational way, regard each other’s commonality and differences objectively, and together advocate the Asian values. President RO stressed that the three countries are a de facto community of common destiny, and shall go beyond bilateral and trilateral relations to develop future-oriented relations in a broader context. He echoed the idea of a community with a shared future for mankind, and suggested to leverage our shared culture, under the principles of seeking common grounds while reserving differences and mutual respect, to further develop an East Asia community with the younger generations as the core, which combines ancient and new as well as East and West. Highlighting the geographic proximity and close culture ties among the three countries, Director CHIKAMATSU attached much importance on their cultural exchanges and mutual understandings towards their respective development. He expected the three countries to deepen mutual trust, strengthen cooperation and work together for common development. 

Hong Kong Satellite TV Director QIN Feng, Bilibili content creator YAMASHITA Tomohiro, and Korean TikTok content creator YOU On spoke at the "Experience Sharing on Shared Culture" session. Starting with a video capturing the wonderful moments of the “Culture City of East Asia” Media and Internet Celebrities Tour, Director Qin told the Tour deepened her understandings on the significance of local government exchanges in promote the relations between countries. She future shared that solid cultural exchanges are conducive to eliminating misunderstandings, enhancing mutual perception, and consolidating the public foundation for good neighborly relations. Mr. YAMASHITA shared that it is an urgent matter to break the triple barriers of culture, knowledge and emotion to further enhance the cultural and people-to-people exchanges among the three countries. He advocated that the opinion leaders of the three countries to make concerted efforts to promote the shared cultures and further contribute to the improved mutual perceptions. Citing the interpersonal relationship as an example, Mr. YOU pointed out that awkwardness might occur from time to time among the three countries due to their close ties, and the online communication has deepened the public opinion confrontation. In that regard, he advocated the internet influencers to further utilize their own advantages to encourage the public to see each other in a more positive manner. 

Professor ZHANG Yiwu of Peking University, Director NEITO Saeko of Osaka City Museum of Fine Arts, Professor CHOI Jeongja of Dongkuk University and President WANG Yuxin of Yangzhou Tourism Association joined the “Rediscovery of East Asia Culture Values” session. Underscoring the their deep connections in both culture and reality, Professor ZHANG suggested the three countries to attach more importance on multiple “connections”, and by such to strengthen “trust” which leads to “harmony” in the final. Director NEITO demonstrated the connections of the three countries’ culture in a more specific way from the respective of culture relics. Professor CHOI suggested more exchange opportunities among the primary and middle school students of the three countries. President WANG shared that the three countries enjoy geographic proximity, historical intertwinement and culture connections, and therefore formed up an East Asia cultural circle. He suggested the three cities to take the advantages of “Culture Cities of East Asia” and other established brands to deepen exchanges and cooperation in various areas, and work together to build a community of shared destiny. 

Vice Mayor LIU Liu, Mayor NAGAKAWA Gen and Mayor JOO Nak-young also shared their insights at the Symposium. Vice Mayor LIU suggested the three cities further advocate a spirt of equality, creativeness and win-win solution, deepen their cooperation in a wider spectrum and at a high level, and work together to set up an exemplary friendship city relationship with trust, understandings, cooperation and win-win result as the core. Mayor NAGAKAWA encouraged the youth of the three countries to see each other’s culture in a more objective way to avoid a narrow nationalism, and by such further strengthen our shared culture. Mayor JOO told that the three countries are geographically close to each other whilst mentally keeping distance. He strongly opposed the manipulation of nationalism for political intentions, and encouraged the media practitioners and internet influencers to give strong impetus to the advancement of the friendship among the three countries. 

On April 19-28, Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, together with the governments of Yangzhou, Nara and Gyeongju, organized the “Culture City of East Asia” Media and Internet Celebrities Tour, inviting culture celebrities, journalists and internet influencers of the three countries to visit the three cities. In the last stop of Yangzhou, the participants visited various sites including the Slender West Lake, Grand Canal Museum, Jianzhen Memorial Hall and CHOE Chi-won Memorial Hall. Mr. WANG Jinjian, Party Secretary of CPC Yangzhou Committee, received the delegation. The East Asia Culture Symposium held in Yangzhou is the closing event of the Tour. 

▲Opening remarks by TCS Secretary-General Amb. OU Boqian. 

▲Remarks by Mr. CHEN Kaihong, Executive Vice Mayor of Yangzhou 

▲Remarks by Mr. TAKENAKA Keiichi, Deputy Consul-General of Japan in Shanghai. 

▲Remarks by Mr. HAN Sangkook, Deputy Consul-General of ROK in Shanghai 

▲Keynote speech by Mr. HU Zhengyue, Vice President of China Public Diplomacy Association. 

▲Keynote speech by Mr. RO Jae-hun, President of ROK East Asia Culture Center. 

▲Keynote speech by Mr. CHIKAMATSU Shigehiro, Director of Council of Local Authorities for International Relation (Beijing) 

▲Session on "Experience Sharing on Shared Culture". 

▲Session on “Rediscovery of East Asia Culture Values”. 

▲Session on “Insights of Mayors” 

▲East Asia Culture Symposium ongoing.