UN International Day of Families 2010

Day of Families Celebrated in Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan - There are now more than two million foreign residents in Japan, and the number is rising rapidly, especially in Tokyo where as many as one in ten couples are international couples. Japan had thought of herself as a strictly homogeneous nation for a long time but is now facing the challenge of coexisting with migrants. In 2006, the government announced a policy to develop "Multicultural Symbiotic Societies."

UPF-Japan, supported by the Association for the Promotion of True Families, organized a commemorative event for the "International Day of Families" in Tokyo on May 15 on the theme of "The impact of migration on families around the world." The event was held as the thirty-seventh in a series of monthly "Ambassadors for Peace Meetings," and the theme corresponded to the United Nations' focus of this year's International Day of Families. Around 70 participants, including more than ten international couples and families living in Japan, joined the celebration.

The program started with congratulatory remarks by Mr. Haruji Ebata, President of the "Educators' Forum of the Ambassadors for Peace," and an honorary member of the "Parental Work Association." He emphasized the importance of the parental role to accept their children as they are in order to develop their heart and wisdom.

The international participants brought an exciting mood to the event by demonstrating their culture through songs and dances. H.E. Mrs. Lydie Pascaline Yasso, the wife of the Ambassador of the Republic of Benin in Japan, performed an African dance together with the international couples from Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Kenya. "Family is the base of society,” she said. “If we value and support international families as UPF does, the world will be in peace.”

Four international couples, with spouses from Benin, Korea, Venezuela, and Ghana, talked about their marriage. Mrs. Soon-Ja Lee from Korea explained how many Koreans had hated the Japanese because of historic issues between the two nations. She recounted how her parents strongly opposed her own marriage with a Japanese man. Yet she said that the 18 years she has lived with her Japanese husband have been the most blessed time of her life and that her parents have apologized for their earlier opposition against her marriage. Mr. Ruka Nun-Ira from Ghana, who celebrated his own birthday on May 15, the International Day of Families, described how he met his wife in their life of faith.

Mr. Seiichi Kikuya, Secretary General of UPF-Japan, gave closing remarks and explained the UPF vision of "One Family under God." He said, "In God's eyes, there are no national, religious, or cultural borders. Our founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, is telling us to eliminate these borders and the best and only real way to do this is through international marriage."

In the end, all of the participants sang the Disney song "It's a Small World" and concluded the event in a friendly, family atmosphere.


UN Day of Families: Japan

For more information about UPF chapters' celebrations of the International Day of Families, click

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