Rissho Kosei-kai Youth Members Visit Philippines
Thirty Rissho Kosei-kai youth members, headed by Rev. Mitsue Minesaka, deputy director of Rissho Kosei-kai's Youth Department, visited the Philippines from March 25 to April 2. One of the Youth Department's educational programs is a visit of Japanese high school students to another Asian country every year, to help them acquire a global outlook and learn the value of world peace.
On March 26 they visited the cemetery for Japanese war dead in the city of Muntinlupa in Metropolitan Manila and held a memorial service for all the dead of the Second World War. On March 27 they visited UNICEF's Manila office, where they were briefed on UNICEF's projects in the Philippines, including its joint project with the World Conference of Religions for Peace in cooperation with local religious leaders to protect children from civil strife. After that they toured other UNICEF facilities in Manila.
During March 28-30 the youth members stayed at a Focolare Movement center in Tagaytay, Quezon Province. Through volunteer activities and cultural exchanges with its youth members, the Japanese students learned about the spirit of this Catholic lay movement and made friends with Focolare members.
On April 1, they traveled to Bagac in Bataan Province. At the Bataan Library and Museum they had exchanges with members of the Bataan Christian Youth Civic Circle (BCYCC) and local scholars of the Bataan Christian Youth Foundation, sponsored by Rissho Kosei-kai's Donate-a-Meal Fund for Peace. Through religious testimonies by the representatives and hoza, or Dharma circles, youth members of the two countries shared their outlooks on religion and their religious experiences. After that, the Japanese students visited the Friendship Tower, built in 1975 as a symbol of world peace and friendship between Japan and the Philippines. They tolled the tower's Peace Bell and prayed for lasting peace between the two countries and for world peace.
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