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UN Global Day of Parents 2015

Global Day of Parents Observed in Japan

Japan-2015-05-28-Global Day of Parents Observed in Japan

Tokyo, Japan—On May 28, 2015 about twenty UPF guests, including representatives of the Shinto, Buddhist and Christian faiths, gathered in Tokyo, Japan for the 63rd Interfaith Forum, organized by UPF-Japan’s Council of Religious Ambassadors for Peace.

The forum was held in observance of the Global Day of Parents, which was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2012 with resolution A/RES/66/292. In its resolution, the General Assembly noted that the “family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children,” and designated June 1 as the Global Day.

Mr. Seiichi Kikuya, secretary general of UPF-Japan, explained the significance of the day: “The UN’s resolution more or less reflected a proposal made by UPF’s founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who had advocated strong and sound families as the very foundation of world peace.”

He also spoke of a proposal that Rev. Moon and his wife, UPF co-founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, offered at an international conference at the UN in New York in August 2000. The proposal called for the UN to establish a bicameral system, comprised of a “lower house” of representatives of the UN’s member states and an “upper house” of religious leaders, who could bring a broad vision and wisdom to address international conflicts and enhance world peace.

Mr. Kikuya concluded his message by encouraging UPF-Japan’s Council of Religious Ambassadors for Peace to continue their work: “The Council promotes sound marriages and strong families through the nationwide campaign ‘Educating Good Characters, Strengthening Families and Building the Nation’. Japan faces seemingly insurmountable problems, including a declining birth rate and rapidly aging population. With the Ambassadors for Peace standing at the forefront of this national campaign, let us tackle these problems proactively.”

A Shinto priest and vice chairman of the Council of Religious Ambassadors for Peace, Rev. Taishu Nara, then offered a Shinto prayer.

Subsequently, Mr. Takayuki Matsunami, education director of the Council gave a lecture on “A Vision of Peace in a World of Confusion.” He spoke about tensions between religions and races and the root causes of conflicts in the world, and offered ideas for solving these problems.

Finally, a Youth Ambassador for Peace spoke about the prevalence of religious persecution on college campuses: “College officials and teaching staff are actively engaged in what they call ‘countermeasures against cults,’ warning students on various methods [different religious groups use to recruit new members]. They look at religions suspiciously and ostracize them.” One participant expressed concern to what was shared and said, “Such a situation is relevant to [all] religions in Japan. We must cooperate to safeguard freedom of religion.”

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