Day of Families Observed in Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan - UPF-Japan organized a commemorative event for the International Day of Families on May 14 in Tokyo.  The event was supported by the Association for the Promotion of True Families, and more than 50 participants including several international couples and families living in Japan attended.

Japan is now on the road to recovery and rebirth with the motto of kizuna (bonds) after the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, which left about 24,000 people dead or missing.

The event was started with the report by two Youth Ambassadors for Peace who have worked on the relief activities teams in Ishinomaki-shi, one of the most severely devastated areas. Their main activity has been removal of rubble and mud at each house. “I really felt that the reconstruction from the disaster means not only rebuilding infrastructure but also restoring heart, and what we should give to the victims is a heart of the family,” they said. The relief project is conducted by the teams each composed of six to eight young people staying for ten consecutive days in rotation, and 48 people have participated in the project so far.

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After the report, the inauguration of a grassroots movement for strengthening families was proclaimed, and Dr. Hiroo Suzuki, the President of the Association of the Ambassadors for Peace and a professor emeritus at the Tsukuba University, was unanimously recognized as the chairman of the promotion committee for the movement, which is named “The People's Movement of Building Human Capacity, Family and Nation.”

“We are at the biggest turning point as we have experienced the unprecedented disaster, and the fundamental power to overcome the crisis is love of God and family,” said Dr. Suzuki in his commemorative speech.

After the speech, Mr. Seisaku Maruoka, who became the vice-chairman of the committee, introduced the “Family Promises Campaign” consisting of eight points for deepening family bonds (kizuna). He mentioned that these points could be the foundation for rebuilding the nation. (See the "Family Promises," below)

Mr. Masayoshi Kajikuri, vice-chairman of the Association of the Ambassadors for Peace, said in his remarks that peacebuilding in families of international marriage would be a great step toward world peace and encouraged the participants to build a culture of peace with the vision of “One Family under God.”

The second half of the event was conducted in a joyful atmosphere with speeches by international couples, entertainment, and a lottery.

Mr. Takatora Kobayshi, who married a Moldovan, explained his project of multi-ethnic volunteerism and stressed the importance of fostering trusting relationships in the family and with neighbors. Having worked for UPF-Japan for over five years, he has just been elected as a member of the city council of Tsu-shi in Mie Prefecture.

Mrs. Sul-Mae Hyun, a Korean-Chinese, described some of the cultural differences between Japan and her country. Reminiscing about the past years, she revealed, “How lonely I felt when my husband (Japanese) came home very late almost every night and did not even hold my hands.” However, she said, “Now he hugs and kisses me tenderly.” Then, she and her husband embraced in front of all the participants and performed a national dance accompanied by a song by her husband.

After the closing remarks by Mr. Seiichi Kikuya, Secretary General of UPF-Japan, all of the participants sang a Disney song "It's a Small World" and ended the event on a high note.

Family Promises

1. We greet the members of the family and neighbors with a smile.

2. We have conversation time with each child.

3. We hold hands with our spouse harmoniously.

4. We preserve our purity through abstinence and fidelity, and we love our spouse throughout our life.

5. We adore our ancestors and practice filial devotion to our parents.

6. We respect our grandparents and value three-generation kizuna (bonds).

7. We promote family volunteer activities in our local area.

8. We keep our promises to our family members and live up to our responsibilities.


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