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The culture ministers of Korea, China and Japan agreed to strengthen cooperation and exchange in culture and sports.
Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Yoo Jin-ryong, China’s Minister of Culture Cai Wu and Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Hakubun Shimomura adopted the Gwangju Joint Statement after the fifth Korea-China-Japan Cultural Ministers’ Meeting held last Saturday at the Kimdaejung Convention Center in Gwangju.
In the joint statement, the three ministers recognized the need to cooperate for protection of cultural heritage, develop the cultural content industry, strengthen exchange in culture and arts and support education for future talents. The three sides also designated a city in each country as an East Asian City of Culture: Gwangju in Korea, Quanzhou in China and Yokohama in Japan. In accordance with the annex agreement, the three countries will also hold City of Culture events and various cultural exchange programs. At the Korea-Japan and Korea-China bilateral meetings held last Friday, various agendas were discussed.
To strengthen cultural exchange, Korea and Japan agreed to expand exchange in the field of culture and sports ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The two countries also discussed solutions to the slowing growth of people-to-people exchange. In particular, to facilitate exchange among youths, both sides agreed to develop active measures including the expansion of Japanese students’ field trips to Korea.
Minister Yoo said that “It is true that Korea-Japan and China-Japan relationships have been rocky, so the three ministers of culture agreed to lead cooperation efforts.” He added that “Because future generations need more active communication and exchange, the three ministers agreed to facilitate youth exchange through school field trip programs.” In addition, Korea and Japan agreed to closely cooperate to host various cultural exchange events to celebrate the 50th year of normalization of Korea-Japan diplomatic relations in 2015.
Minister Shimomura mentioned that “This is the first time that an official ministerial meeting is held between the three countries since the Abe Administration took office”. He continued to say that “The three countries prepared the statement despite pending political issues, and it is meaningful that the three sides recognized the need for cultural exchange to contribute to national development.”
At the Korea-China bilateral meeting, the two countries discussed ways to strengthen cultural exchange, as was agreed upon in the June summit meeting.
The Korean and Chinese ministers agreed to organize a cultural exchange committee to facilitate private sector exchanges, expand exchange in culture and arts, sign a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the culture industry, develop the game industry and cooperate for the hosting of Chinese artists’ exhibitions in Korea.
Minister Cai Wu noted that Korea, China and Japan are geographically close and share many cultural features, and expected that the East Asian City of Culture program will become a brand name representing cultural exchange efforts among the three countries and enhance the level of cooperation.
Source: Yonhap News (Sep. 28, 2013)
** This article was translated from the Korean.