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SIXTEENTH ANNUAL BUDDHIST GOODWILL CONFERENCE BETWEEN CHINA, JAPAN, AND KOREA
HELD IN SANYA, CHINA FROM NOVEMBER 23-28
Social role sought for Buddhism with the theme
“Finding Inner Peace after a Natural Disaster”
Friendly Dialogue and Exchange with Prayers for Peace
The 16th annual China-Japan-South Korea Buddhist Goodwill Conference was held this past November in China, with more than 300 delegates from the three countries in attendance. This year’s conference was held from November 23-28 at the Tangra Hotel in Sanya, Hainan Island.
With the theme “Finding Inner Peace after a Natural Disaster,” the conference officially opened with an aspirational prayer for world peace from the Most Venerable Jaseung (President of the JOKB and the Chairman of the Association of Korean Buddhist Orders). The conference kicked off with the opening ceremony, followed by an academic conference, a banquet dinner for representatives of the three main countries, a committee meeting between the delegates of three countries, and a pilgrimage to Hainan Nanshan Temple.
The China-Japan-Korea International Buddhist Exchange Council was established with the creation of the China-Japan-Korea Buddhist Goodwill Conference in 1995. Buddhist delegates from three countries have since been working fervently to strengthen Buddhist ties and maintain harmonious relationships between the three countries.
Various themes have been discussed since the first conference in 1996, but this year’s theme took special notice as it focused on ‘Buddhism in Action’, which is based on the Buddhist ideology of working to solve social problems. This year’s theme was particularly important, as the super-typhoon Haiyan, which swept through Philippines, also left tremendous damage in the Hainan region.
Venerable Seogwang, the Chairman of Korean Association of Buddhism and Psychotherapy, stated, “Countless people are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of such extreme external conditions. Due to negative emotions such as fear, sadness, helplessness, shame, and suicidal tendencies, many have difficulty coping with everyday life. The victims can minimize the bereavement process through religious consolation, and they can mitigate a significant portion of the obstacles caused by stress through meditative practices, in conjunction with psychotherapy.
Ven. Ito Yuishin, President of KCJ Buddhist Goodwill Conference stated in his address, “The consequences of the Eastern Japan Earthquake were devastating, with over 3,400 victims in March, 2011. Religion has thus played various roles for the survivors during their bereavement process, helping them to heal during these complex, emotional circumstances.
Most Venerable Jaseung, the Chairman of the Association of Korean Buddhist Orders, stated during his Aspiration Prayer for World Peace, “With continuous dialogue, exchange, and acceptance, all religions should work together to create a more peaceful and harmonious coexistence. He added, “Having been founded on the teachings of the Buddha, all Buddhists should work together and contribute to world peace and harmonious human coexistence.”
Korean Buddhist delegates also visited Cheoningaeng (Tomb of the Thousands), where the victims of forced labor during Japanese colonial period were buried. The delegates also made a pilgrimage to other important cultural heritage sites on Hainan Island.