By Lee Jong-hwan
Seoul, July 6 (World Korean News)= "In Japan, 62 percent have completed booster shot vaccination. Overall, the Covid-19 infection rate has decreased significantly, and regulations have been eased a lot. Compared to the past, the process of entering Japan has become simpler.”
Kim Kwang-il, President of the 20th PUAC(Peaceful Unification Advisory Council) in Japan, introduced the local Covid-19 situation. He lives in Tokyo. Although Covid-19 had difficulty leaving and entering the country for a while, he said, it is now much better.
The 20th PUAC launched in September last year. Kim Kwang-il, who served as the President of Korean Chamber of Commerce in Japan, was appointed as the President in the 20th PUAC in Japan following the 19th term launched in 2019.
With the beginning of the 20th term in September last year, launch meetings were held for each council. Four sub-regional councils in Japan held launching ceremonies on different dates.
A total of four meetings in Japan led by Kim Kwang-il were also held until the first half of this year. It is a group consisting of the president, the secretary, and four regional presidents and secretaries.
"I invited Takeo Kawamura, chairman of the Korea-Japan Friendship Association, as a speaker and held a lecture at the Mindan Center in Tokyo on December 17 (Fri) last year. The theme was improvement of Korea-Japan relations and peace in Korean Peninsula." The event was conducted both online and offline. 203 Koreans in Japan participated in the meeting, Kim Kwang-il said.
On March 23 this year, Kim Kwang-il invited Kim Chang-soo, secretary-general of PUAC, as a speaker and held a lecture online. 89 people participated in this onling event.
Kim Kwang-il also held the '2022 Golden Bell Finals in Japan' on June 25. Twelve students who received the Excellence Award in the preliminary round participated online. The top four will compete in the finals to be held in Korea on July 30.
There are four regional councils under the Japan PUAC. The total number of consultants is 460. Compared to 404 in the last 19th PUAC, the number of advisors increased in the 20th.
"We defended the rights and interests of Korean residents in Japan, and worked to stabilize their lives and improve their social status. We did not give up and continued the grassroots movement despite the difficulties caused by worsening relations between Korea and Japan."
Kim Kwang-il introduced the main project of the 20th PUAC in this way.
"Korea-Japan relations have been stagnant these years. Korean government should actively work to improve bilateral relations. The Korean community in Japan is also centered on the 4th and 5th generations. We should pay attention to education so that they can know their roots, such as their mother tongue, history, and culture. I hope the Korean government shoul pay some more attention."
Kim Kwang-il runs a real estate business in Tokyo. He received the Jeju Businessman Award in 2014, the World Korean Award in 2016, and the Peony National Medal of Honor in 2018.
**(This translation was sponsored by Oh Won-Seong, former chairman of the Korean Association of Dallas.)