Mr. Yoshihiro Yamazaki, Liaison Director, Institute for Peace Policies for Europe and Middle East, Japan
Mr. Yoshihiro Yamazaki is the Liaison Director of the Institute for Peace Policies, a thinktank in Tokyo, Japan, for Europe and the Middle East. He is also the Coordinator of the International Association of Academicians for Peace (IAAP) for Europe and the Middle East. His work as a journalist included six years as the Tokyo Bureau Chief of an American news agency. He now lives in Istanbul, Turkey, with his wife.
"Breaking Down the Walls: Pursuing Interdependence in the Community for Peace”
UPF's founders, Dr. and Mrs. Moon, showed high respect to academicians as 'the backbone of creating the ideal world". Earlier in this session, Dr. Jin referred to the 'conscience for the whole purpose'. The conscience shared in a family, society, nation and the world is critical in developing their stability, peace and cooperation among their members. And it is partly the role of educators, academicians and scientists to formulate such shared conscience by exploring and disseminate knowledge.
The UPF’s founders practiced their own conviction by sponsoring the International Conference on the Unity of Sciences since the 1970s through the next 20 years. Then, Mother Moon set up a new project of academicians this year, that is; the International Association of Academicians for Peace, under whose umbrella we are gathering today.
In their pursuit for peace, two important declarations were made in academic settings: In one of the ICUS conferences, Father Moon boldly proposed a global road network scheme called the 'International Highway Project'. It is now promoted as the 'Peace Road Project’. On another occasion in 1985, the Professors' World Peace Academy, another international network of scholars created by the founders, declared the 'End of Communism', together with noted scholars in a conference in Geneva.
His prediction was materialized five years later, when the Berlin Wall was torn down, symbolizing the elimination of the ideological wall in Europe. But in Asia, the 38th Parallel still divides the same people of Korea, while the Great Wall of China looks poised to encroach Asia, if not the world! Besides, other walls between nations have become harder and higher, as migrants and refugees have discovered. More ominously, walls separating other faith traditions look more fortified, fueling political disputes. How can we realize a world of interdependence?
Human development begins with a total dependence upon parents. Then, their growth is measured as their sense and capacity of independence get stronger. As people mature in their loving and serving capacities, they become interdependent with other people in wider societies. In this respect, interdependence is a testimony of human maturity and worth in society.
Therefore, a call for interdependence is not a pretext for more help by one party to another, or an excuse to seek for help in the name of multilateralism. On the contrary, it is a distinctive value and principle, which is apparent and pervasive in the universe. It is more relevant to the highest value and norm of altruism or 'true love'. It may belong to a realm of heavenly wisdom. That is why practicing interdependence is not easy for ordinary folks like me.
Our human natures tend to think and act in a self-protecting, self-justifying, if not self-centered manner. As Dr. N'dongo of Senegal pointed out, facing the Corona challenge, nations are inclined to take such a nationalist direction, even when the virus spreads beyond borders.
That is why we need to reinforce our conviction that our behaviors and policies towards interdependence are morally right, rationally reasonable and ultimately beneficial to everyone concerned. Thus, we need a theoretical base of interdependence, as Dr. Jin tried to indicate in his remarks.
We also need methods and policies to apply the principle of interdependence. Without a concrete and systematic methodology, the idea cannot be substantiated on the ground. Here, it is the mission of the academicians and scientists to support the global drive towards an interdependent global community. I am deeply impressed by the endeavors introduced today by Dr. Safonicheva of Russia for turning the challenge into opportunities.
With such theories, discourses and policies being produced, I do hope our IAAP in the nearest future will confidently issue a 'Declaration of Interdependence' in one of our forums. Let us work together!