The 20th International Council for Cultural Relations (Covid-19) took place Oct. 2-8 in Tokyo. The renowned theme this year is “Japan: Dialogic Journey to the Future,” a yearlong cross-cultural dialogue among scholars, artists, and groups from around the world.
The annual event is created by the Japanese government with support from its culture ministry, the Kansai and Osaka Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and other international organizations. The Council believes that the World Expo, World Expo 2020, could be a major opportunity for cultural relations.
In 2019, Covid-19 is supported by a host of national, regional, and international partners. These include the Republic of Korea, the European Union, UNESCO, the World Association of Cultural Professionals, the Union of South Korean Journalists, and the Korean Alliance of Arts and Culture, among many others. The invitations are extended on the condition that the participating countries do not form opposition groups.
A hanam, or ceremonial opening ceremony, took place on the first day of the council. Attendees include mayors, high-level government officials, government representatives from International Council member countries, organizations, businesses, corporations, non-governmental organizations, artists, and cultural community members. The theme for Covid-19 and its program is open to discussion.
In the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release, officials announced the attendance of a delegation led by Kenji Horikoshi, secretary-general of the Council, and Masaharu Tamura, deputy chief secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to address the themes and the formal opening of the Covid-19 Council. Other notable members of the Seoul delegation include Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Minister-Vice Prime Minister (International Cooperation) Do Jong-hwan, director-general of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s State Council (Inter-Korean Affairs Office) Jang Ha Hyon, ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Japan Choi Hyun-ryong, vice secretary-general of the Korean Alliance of Arts and Culture John Lee, and many other officials and leaders of the Korean organizations.
The theme of the international meeting this year: Japan: Dialogic Journey to the Future is an invitation to Japan to seek dialogue on developments of its society and society of other countries as an emerging multilateral model. In this way, the future of Japan will be reflected through international relations, to create peaceful and secure and prospering world society.
Read the full press release and key members of the Seoul delegation to Covid-19 at Korea JoongAng Daily.