CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Global Peace Initiative Launched in Japan
Written by UPF - Japan
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Saitama, Japan - The Universal Peace Federation in Japan began a new year of activities with an International Leadership Conference, service projects, and a huge convention in Saitama, near Tokyo.
The main program took place on March 1 at the Saitama Super Arena, where 20,000 gathered to celebrate the vision of one family under God. Rev. Walter Fauntroy who served for 20 years as a member of the US Congress, inspired the audience when he spoke of the convergence of the vision of US civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with that of Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon. He added that a new generation was arising 40 years after the assassination of Dr. King in 1968, and he referred to this as a “Joshua generation” that overcomes the challenges they face and moves humanity into a new promised land.
Fauntroy spoke about the Obama campaign and the spirit of “yes we can,”and called people to apply the “yes we can” spirit to solve problems in Darfur, the Middle East, the Korean peninsula, and east Asia. He said that “yes we can” applies to ending “the barbarism of war, the decadence of racism, and the scourge of poverty” if we center on the vision of One Family under God.
Earlier, conference sessions considered themes such as “Peacebuilding in the Asia Pacific Region and the Role of Japan” and “The World in Crisis and the Direction of Japan.” Professor Masahisa Hayashi of Waseda University spoke about the vision of the Universal Peace Federation and its emphasis not only on interfaith cooperation and international cooperation, but also on interdisciplinary research among scholars from all academic fields with an aim to solving critical global problems. Former Congressman Michio Ochi spoke of going to a Christian Church during his childhood and encountering Christianity. It was an overwhelming experience of "culture shock," he said, to hear them teaching about "loving your enemy."
Dr. Hyun Jin Moon shared with the delegates his vision for the Global Peace Festival, rooted in his father’s teaching and life work, and the tri-fold platform of building interfaith cooperation, God-centered families, and a global culture of service. He also spoke about the United Nations’ noble ideas and its limitations in terms of bringing about effective solutions to global problems.
He described the potential of the Global Peace Festival, as a coalition of partners and faith-based organizations, to bring about substantial change in diverse contexts and described developments of the Global Peace Festival in 2008. Looking ahead in 2009 he pointed to peacebuilding efforts on the Philippine island of Mindanao.
“The Universal Peace Federation and Global Peace Festival are not merely bringing an idealistic vision but building a movement that is bringing substantial change, in collaboration with many NGOs, faith-based organizations, and governments,” he said. “The vision of One Family under God is becoming a living reality. If Japan can embrace this vision, it can stand on a world platform as a leader not only in terms of financial power, but moral, spiritual power to change the world.”
For the keynote address and more information about the peace tour, click here.
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Bangkok, Thailand—An Asian Leadership Conference held in November drew participation from government officials from Cambodia and Indonesia.
Peoples Republic of China
Hong Kong, China—Forty government, academic and civil society leaders from the greater China region attended UPF’s Cross-Strait Peace Consultation at the Open University of Hong Kong.