Trilateral Youth Summit 2019 was held from August 4th to 8th at Tokyo and Nagano, Japan. The program was co-hosted by the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MFOA Japan), and organized by the Japan Overseas Cooperative Association (JOCA). The Trilateral Youth Summit (TYS) was established in 2014, with a goal to promote mutual understanding and building friendship among Chinese, Japanese, and Korean undergraduate and graduate students, through social events and cultural tours. The program’s main activity is to conduct a Mock Trilateral Summit, through the process of research, discussions and critically analyzing topics, such as economy, society, and culture. Every year, the venue of TYS is rotated among China, Japan and the ROK. The theme of this year’s Youth Summit was, “20th Anniversary of Trilateral Cooperation: Seeking the Possibilities of the East Asian Region – Rejuvenating Society”. As the aging population in the three countries and diminishing of energy in the local areas are facing the three countries, this year’s program was focused on regional revitalization.
30 student delegations (10 from each country), were selected through high competition to participate in the program. The students were divided into three groups of mixed nationalities, as the following. Group A: Aging Society x Rejuvenation, Group B: Tourism x Rejuvenation, Group C: Multiculturalism x Rejuvenation.
The program began with the Welcome Dinner, with the opening remarks by TCS Deputy Secretary-General YAMAMOTO Yasushi, and a toast given by Mr. FUKAHORI Yasutaka, Director of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, Regional Cooperation Division of the MOFA Japan. In the following day, the students actively listened to a lecture by TCS DSG YAMAMOTO, on Trilateral Cooperation. The student delegates then moved to Nagano Prefecture, to experience and listen to the current situation and initiatives taken in the rural areas. A lecture by NPO SCOP, a think tank conducting local government consulting to energize the society, brought new perspectives to the students, such as utilizing old town and cultural relics as tourist spots and attractions.
On the third day, a visit was made to Zenkoji Temple, one of the most notable temples in Japan, which has attracted many domestic and foreign tourists, leading to the development of the city. Students from the three countries were introduced to the Buddhist temple by English-speaking tour guide (Bonsho no Kai), and also learned about the tricks and methods the guides use to introduce the temple to foreign tourists.
After learning about the in-bound tourism, the group moved to the Komagane City, to listen to a lecture by the City Hall as well as the local community center (PATONA) and a co-working space (KOTO). A Komagane City, the students learned about the initiatives taken inside the city to create a society enjoyable by people all generations, backgrounds, and abilities.
The Youth Summit was held on the 7th, in Tokyo. After the site visits and group works, the group leaders signed three Joint Statements, written by each group, and delivered a keynote presentation, followed by free discussions. Mr. NAGAFUCHI Kenji, Director of the Socio-Cultural Affairs department of the TCS presented the participation certificates to the students.
At the farewell dinner, Director FUKAHORI of the MOFA Japan delivered an opening remarks and a toast, and the student group leaders delivered their thoughts and future prospects of the three country’s youths. Director NAGAFUCHI of the TCS closed the program with the closing remarks.
On the last day, the students visited Asakusa, Tokyo to experience the local markets and culture. The students also had a Japanese tea ceremony experience to learn about the traditional culture.
The next Trilateral Youth Summit will be held in China, in 2020.