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Soka Gakkai Japan Youth Delegation Visits China

Youth lay flowers for war dead at the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery [© Seikyo Shimbun]

From June 9 to 18, a group of 18 Soka Gakkai youth from Japan visited China for a friendship exchange hosted by the All-China Youth Federation (ACYF), continuing a tradition of exchange that began in 1979. This year, the group visited several cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Yanji and Dalian.

On June 12, the delegation visited Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin Province, the first time it has been included as part of the itinerary. On June 13, they visited the Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery in the prefectural capital of Yanji and laid a wreath in remembrance of the war dead. The youth also visited Yanbian Museum where they learned about the history of Chinese Koreans, as well as Japan's aggression against China during the war.

Taro Hashimoto, head of the Soka Gakkai delegation, stated that he believed it was the wish of the citizens of both China and Japan to preserve peace for eternity and that it was the mission of youth to help actualize a lasting peace. The youth also conducted cultural exchanges with local residents in the area.

The ACYF is the largest youth organization in China. Former Chinese President Hu Jingtao led the first youth exchange group from China to visit Japan in 1985.