China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are embracing an important year for cultural exchanges as four big events converge within the next couple of weeks, officials said Wednesday.
A "Chinese Culture Year" and a "Japanese Culture Year" will be held respectively in Tokyo and Beijing in early April, to mark the 30th anniversary of the normalization of Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations.
Meanwhile a "China-ROK People-to-People Exchange Year" will be launched at the end of this month in Beijing and Seoul in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Sources with China's Ministry of Culture said Wednesday that a "China-Japan-ROK Culture Exchange Year" will also be launched at the same time.
The organizing committee, drawn from 17 governmental administrations and organizations, will be chaired by Chinese Culture Minister Sun Jiazheng.
"Chinese Culture Year in Japan" will highlight Chinese traditional music, martial arts, Peking Opera, Kunqu Opera, acrobatics and symphonies performed by leading Chinese troupes. China will also stage antique exhibitions, and organize professional business groups to visit Japan.
Beijing will host Japan's Kurihara Komaki Film Festival and Ki Taro Concert, as well as table tennis and chess competitions.
In the "China-ROK People-to-People Exchange Year," well-known artists and troupes will jointly give performances in both countries, including the Korean national opera.
The organizers believe that the cultural events will help strengthen understanding and trust among the Chinese, Japanese and Korean people, which will promote peace and development in Asia and the world at large.
In 2000, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji in his visit to Japan and the ROK reached consensus with Japanese and ROK leaders on holding "Chinese Culture Year," "Japanese Culture Year" and "China-ROK People-to-People Exchange Year."
The same year, leaders of the three countries agreed on holding "China-Japan-ROK Culture Exchange Year" in the meeting between the Association of South East Asian Nations and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
A website has been launched for the events: www.culturalink.com.cn.
(Xinhua News Agency March 20, 2002)