Korean exchange students tour Okinawa to improve Japan-Korea relationships

Korean exchange students tour Okinawa to improve Japan-Korea relationships

Matsuo Chinen who acted as a tour guide in the Okuko Village in Nanjo, along with the Korean youth group, taken on October 2 in Okoku Sashiki, Nanjo

October 3, 2019 Ryukyu Shimpo

“We can become good friends.” A group of 10 Korean college students toured in and outside of Okinawa during their visit to Japan.

The group arrived in Okinawa on September 30 and returned home on October 2.

They visited the Himeyuri Peace Museum in Itoman and the Okinawa Peace Memorial Park.

They also enjoyed staying at a vacation rental in Nanjo.

One group member said, “I really felt that we could become friends by directly interacting with one another,” “The relationship between Japan and South Korea that continues to worsen is at the political or country level.”

The group member felt a deepened mutual understanding.

This cultural exchange was carried out as a result of the Japan-Korea Cultural Federation receiving commission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is a part of the Japan-Korea Academic Youth Culture Exchange Program that was drawn up by both the Japanese and South Korean governments.

On October 2 in Nanjo, the group strolled through the Okoku Village in which there are still many traditional houses.

They also went around and viewed Hinpun, a type of entry wall to ward off demons, with scars left from naval guns.

The group deepened their cultural exchange with the local people in a friendly atmosphere.

College senior Sanmyon Lee, 25, said, “I had thought that Japanese people have an enormous hatred toward Korea, but having actually talking with people, that’s not the case.

I now understand the importance of not being influenced by the media and to have direct cultural exchange.”

Yuson Lee, 24, in his first year out of college said, “There wasn’t any point (during our trip) where we were hated for being Korean.

We’re able to become friends through cultural exchange.”

(English translation by T&CT and Chelsea Ashimine)

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