The culture ministers of South Korea, Japan and China met at the National Intangible Heritage Center in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, on Thursday and Friday, in person for the first time in four years, where they vowed to strengthen cultural cooperation among the three Northeast Asian countries.
On Friday, the three culture ministers -- South Korea's Park Bo-gyoon, Keiko Nagaoka of Japan and Hu Heping for China -- signed the Jeonju Declaration, which includes the expansion of cultural exchange among the three countries' young people and strengthening exchanges between regions, including East Asian cultural cities. It was the 14th trilateral meeting of the culture ministers of the three countries since 2007.
"Cultural exchanges among the three countries should be centered around the younger generation. It is emphasized that when young people share their creative and innovative cultural passions through cultural and artistic exchanges, it will be possible to build trust and friendship among the nations,” Park said Friday.
The Jeonju Declaration also included ensuring equal cultural access opportunities regardless of disabilities, cooperation in cultural resolution of international challenges, strengthening the network of cultural institutions such as museums, libraries and art galleries, enhancing cooperation in the cultural content industry for future joint growth and cultural and artistic exchange events in conjunction with international sports events.
Four regions have been designated as the 2024 Northeast Asian Culture Cities -- Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, Weifang and Dalian of China and Ishikawa prefecture, Japan -- set to take over the title from Jeonju, China's Chengdu and Meizhou and Japan's Shizuoka prefecture.
On Thursday, bilateral meetings were held.
With his Chinese counterpart, Park discussed ways to promote cooperation through cultural exchanges including esports, which were adopted as an official event for the first time at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, and the resumption of Chinese group travel to promote tourism exchanges.
Citing the leaders of South Korea and Japan, who in May agreed on expanding exchanges among the youth of the two countries, Park noted, "On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Kim Dae-jung-Oobuchi Declaration this year and the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2025, (South Korean and Japan) will further expand and broaden cultural exchanges between the two countries. Furthermore, we will continue to support both countries in leading the global content market through 'cooperation within competition, competition within cooperation.'"
The Kim Dae-jung-Oobuchi Declaration refers to a declaration made on Oct. 8, 1998, between Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and South Korean President Kim Dae-jung reaffirming friendly relations between the two countries.
The annual trilateral meeting of the culture ministers began in 2007 to discuss ways to enhance cultural exchanges and cooperation regardless of the geopolitical situation.