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Title Kyungnam University, Soka University (Japan), and Chinese Culture University (Taiwan) Hold the ‘Peace Foum 2019’
Date 2019.05.21
Type [News]
Subtitle: Peace Foum 2019: Conflict, Cooperation, and Peace in East Asia
Date: 2019.05.15
Venue: SGI Jeju Korea-Japan Friendship Training Institute

Former Minister of Unification and Kyungnam University President Park Jae Kyu held the Peace Forum 2019 with Japan’s Soka University and Taiwan’s Chinese Culture University under the theme of “Conflict, Cooperation, and Peace in East Asia” at the SGI Jeju Korea-Japan Friendship Training Institute in Seogwipo, Jeju Island on May 15, 2019.

  In the opening speech President Park remarked that in order to achieve denuclearization and establish a peace regime, they must overcome the history of mutual distrust and antagonism of the last 70 years, and as such will be a difficult process that will require time and patience.

 And as such President Park called on the participants of the 2019 Peace Forum to pool their wisdom and help write the new history of peace and prosperity in East Asia by achieving denuclearization and the establishment of a peace regime through productive discussions on conflict and cooperation between Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, and North Korea.

  Through his keynote speech, former Ambassador to the U.S. and University of North Korean Studies President Ahn Hoyoung highlighted the progress achieved in economic, political, and security areas by Korea, Japan, and Taiwan over the last 70 years, but also addressed the challenges that the three countries are facing in a strategic environment some are calling ‘The New Cold War’ including North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, large scale refugee crises, cyber warfare, and space warfare.

  Following the Keynote speech the first session began under the theme of “Conflict and Cooperation between Korea and Japan.” Through his presentation, Soka University Professor Harmut Lenz sighted uncertainty over the sincerity of cooperation between Japan and Korea as well as the asymmetry of information as factors causing confusion in bilateral cooperation, while Professor Jonathan Malcolm Luckhurst, also of Soka University, stressed that Korea-China-Japan summit talks could be a platform to strengthen economic cooperation not only at the global but also at the regional level.

 Additionally, University of North Korean Studies Professor Kim Jung, stated the reason why Korea-Japan relations have not improved over the past decade is because the two countries have a balance in military power, economic development and the quality of democracy, while there is an imbalance in the level of mutual security threat awareness, adding that the asymmetry has caused a vicious cycle, making it difficult for Korea-Japan relations to improve.

In the second session, held under the theme of "Conflict and Cooperation between Taiwan and China," Dean of the College of Social Sciences at Taiwan’s Chinese Culture University Chien-min Chao gave a presentation on "Grand Risk: Cross-Strait Relations Under President Tsai Ing-Wen," while Chien-kuo Pang, a professor at Chinese Culture University, pointed out that if Taiwan does not develop cross-strait relations and actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative in China, the policy will pose a serious challenge to Taiwan.

  Kyungnam University's Institute for Far Eastern Studies Professor Sangman Lee stated that unlike the faceoff of U.S. and the Soviet Union in the cold war, there is room for cooperation in many ways between the U.S. and China because competition and cooperation coexist between the U.S. and China, adding that unless the U.S. and Taiwan change their current policy direction, China will have no choice but to maintain its hardline stance in response.

 In the last session held under the theme of “Conflict and Cooperation between North and South Koreas,” Kyungnam University Institute for Far Eastern Studies Professor Eul-Chul Lim stated that it is difficult to bring about sustainable peace without progress in North Korea’s denuclearization, adding that President Moon Jae-in’s administration’s most important task is to improve inter-Korean relations along with U.S.-North Korean relations through practical measures to achieve denuclearization.

 Soka University Professor Hideki Tamai stressed the need to create a solution that satisfies both the security of the North Korean regime and the establishment of a peace regime through inter-Korean cooperation, while Professor Hsuan-Hiang Lin of the Chinese Culture University explained that if the Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist ideas and culture, which are at the core of Chinese culture, are properly interpreted, China could prevent itself from becoming an imperial or hegemonic power.

Korea’s Kyungnam University, Japan’s Soka University and Taiwan’s Chinese Culture University have been holding the annual "Peace Forum" since 2017 to promote peace research in East Asia and promote academic exchanges among the three countries. The first peace forum was held in Okinawa, Japan, in 2017 while the 2018 Peace Forum was held in Taipei, Taiwan.

  A total over 100 people attended this year’s Peace Forum, with over 30 experts from Korea, Japan, and Taiwan including the Chairperson of the Board of the University of North Korean Studies, Sun Hyang Kim, IFES Director Kwan-Sei Lee, and University of North Korean Studies Vice President Moo-Jin Yang.