The 2019 Trilateral Youth Summit was held in Tokyo and Nagano, Japan from August 4th-8th. The event was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the China-Japan-South Korea Cooperation Secretariat and hosted by the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV). The theme of this year's summit was The 20th Anniversary of China-Japan-South Korea Cooperation: Looking for possibilities of revitalizing society in East Asia. The theme of this year's event was “regional revitalization”, as the three countries are facing the challenges of an aging population and a lack of vitality in local development. A total of 30 youth representatives from China, Japan and South Korea participated in the summit on behalf of their respective countries.
As one of the co-organizers, the Institute of Asian Studies of our university issued a recruitment circular to universities nationwide. Through resume filtering, telephone and on-site interviews, 10 Chinese students were selected from among more than 400 applicants and pre-conference training was organized. Wu Lin and Li Tianhui, two teachers from the Institute of Asian studies, led the team throughout the event.
At the opening ceremony and welcome dinner, speeches were delivered by Yamamoto Kyosuke, deputy secretary-general of the China-Japan-South Korea Cooperation Secretariat; and Yasuda Fukuda, director of the Asian and Oceanic Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. Over the next four days, the students listened to the speech on tripartite cooperation given by Deputy Secretary-General Yamamoto Shinji. The students then went to Nagano to experience and learn the current situation in rural areas, which brought new perspectives for students, such as using old cities and cultural relics as tourist attractions to revitalize local places. The students also visited Zanguang Temple, one of the most famous temples in Japan. After learning about tourism revitalization, the students went to the city of Hakone and listened to the lectures delivered by the officials of the city municipality, the local community center and the cooperative space company. By visiting these institutions, students learned how to create a welfare-sharing society that allows all generations and people with different backgrounds and abilities to share the benefits.
The Model Trilateral Summit was held in Tokyo on August 7. The students were divided into three groups to discuss aging society and regional revitalization (Group A), tourism and regional revitalization (Group B), and multiculturalism and regional revitalization (Group C). After detailed discussions, the three groups drafted three joint statements, which were signed by the team leaders of the three groups; the group representatives made thematic presentations and then participated in the free discussion session. The team leaders of China and South Korea commented on the students’ statements as observers. Finally, the director of the Department of Social and Cultural Affairs of the China-Japan-South Korea Cooperation Secretariat issued certificates to the students.
At the farewell dinner, the director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Futian Conley, issued a toast to congratulate everyone on the success of the event. The leaders of the three groups commented on the event and expressed their aspirations for the future.
On the last day, the students visited the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo and experienced local business and culture as well as the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
The event broadened the horizons of the three countries' participants, allowing them to inclusively and openly listen and understand the culture and policies of other countries, inspiring young representatives to think about the cooperation between the three countries and enhancing the friendship between them. Four students of our university attended the summit, showing outstanding professionalism and the spirit of China Foreign Affairs University.
The China-Japan-South Korea Youth Summit was established in 2014 and is hosted annually by China, Japan and South Korea in rotation. It aims to promote mutual understanding and friendship between young Chinese, Japanese and South Koreans through social and cultural exchanges. One of the most important activities of the project is a model summit of leaders of the three countries, involving research, discussion and drafting of documents, and discussion of issues in economic, social and cultural fields to enhance the understanding and consensus of the three countries' youths on China-Japan-South Korea cooperation.