KYOTO (Kyodo) — The culture ministers of Japan, China and South Korea confirmed Saturday that their countries will co-host events to spread East Asian culture during the Olympic and Paralympic games to be hosted by them between 2018 and 2022.
At a meeting in Kyoto, the ministers also agreed to set up an experts’ body to discuss measures to strengthen exchanges among 15 “culture cities of East Asia” in a program aimed at deepening mutual understanding.
Japanese culture minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and his South Korean and Chinese counterparts Do Jongwhan and Luo Shugang adopted the Kyoto declaration covering those agreements.
“Through cooperation toward the Olympics, we wish to further promote cultural exchanges between the three nations,” Hayashi said.
The ministers aim to promote East Asian culture by organizing events in conjunction with the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.
In their previous meeting in August last year on Jeju Island, the three Asian neighbors agreed to study mutual dispatch of artistic delegations and co-hosting of events featuring both culture and sports.
The envisioned experts’ group will also consider tie-ups between East Asian cities and cultural programs of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as well as the European Union.
Under the Culture Cities of East Asia program, which started in 2014, every year one city in each of the three countries holds various cultural activities to build a sense of solidarity in the region and enhance intercultural communication.
So far, the Japanese cities of Yokohama, Niigata, Nara and Kyoto have been selected, while Kanazawa was newly picked at this year’s meeting.
The trilateral cultural ministers meeting has been held almost every year since 2007 and the Kyoto gathering was the ninth overall.