President Barack Obama’s recent visits to Japan and Korea emphasize the importance of the trilateral alliance and relationship that the three countries have. Joint statements issued by President Obama and Prime Minister Abe, as well as President Obama and President Park, highlight the role of the youth in resolving past historical grievances between Korea and Japan, and in bringing the countries closer together through bridges of mutual understanding.
To this end, ISC hosted a trilateral symposium in 2013 and 2014 to bring JASC and KASC leaders together to discuss the future cooperation for the three countries. ISC is happy to play a critical part in this important dialogue and fully agrees with President Obama’s statement during a joint press conference with President Park.
“I think Prime Minister Abe recognizes, and certainly the Japanese people recognize, that the past is something that has to be recognized honestly and fairly. But I also think that it is in the interest of both Japan and the Korean people to look forward as well as backwards and to find ways in which the heartache and the pain of the past can be resolved, because, as has been said before, the interests today of the Korean and Japanese people so clearly converge. They’re both democracies. You both have thriving free markets. Both are cornerstones of a booming economic region. Both are strong allies and friends of the United States. And so when you think about the young people of the Republic of Korea and Japan, my hope would be that we can honestly resolve some of these past tensions, but also keep our eye on the future and the possibilities of peace and prosperity for all people.” (April 25, 2014, Joint Press Conference with President Obama and President Park)
Fostering mutual understanding among American, Japanese and Korean university students as the future generation of leaders in the Asia Pacific is the mission of International Student Conferences (ISC), a non-profit organization that manages both the Korea-America Student Conference (KASC) and the Japan-America Student Conference (JASC). JASC is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year and has been recently recognized by President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Abe as an “indispensable” exchange program for developing the U.S.-Japan alliance. KASC was launched in 2008, and will be celebrating its 8th anniversary next summer. You can read more about ISC’s Trilateral Symposiums here and here.