Japan-China Youth Friendship Exchange--Summer 2006
From July 21-27, 2006, 200 Japanese Soka Gakkai youth representatives visited Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin on an exchange visit to promote friendship between China and Japan.
In Beijing, on July 25, the delegation met with student representatives of Peking University and held discussions on ways of strengthening Sino-Japanese ties, and the role that students can play in this. The youth also shared their personal visions of contributing to society in their chosen fields. Members of the delegation were impressed by the Chinese students' strong sense of responsibility to be the driving force in the development of their society and to promote bilateral exchanges between the two countries.
On the same day, young women members of the Japanese delegation sponsored a Japan-China Women's Friendship Symposium at the university on the topic of women's roles in building peace. In small group discussions, the students at the university, along with representatives from the Women's Research Center, the All-China Women's Federation and other institutions, exchanged views on topics such as women's rights, women's lifestyles and the importance of Cultural Activities.
In Shanghai, the delegation met with local government officials and visited East China Normal University. Here chorus members and musicians among the Japanese delegation performed songs for the students.
The impetus for the exchange visit came from a suggestion by SGI President Ikeda during a recent meeting with China's ambassador to Japan, Mr. Wan Yi. Mr. Ikeda's initiatives to promote Sino-Japanese friendship and exchange date back to the 1960s. He has placed particular emphasis on citizen-level exchanges. Soka Gakkai and Chinese youth delegations have been holding exchanges since 1985.
[Adapted from articles published during July 2006 in the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; also published in the October 2006 issue of theSGI Quarterly]