The APCC was created as one of the commemorative events of the 1989 Asian-Pacific Exposition to celebrate the 100th year since the founding of Fukuoka City. It is a civic movement funded by local governments as well as donations from corporate sponsors and the Supporters’ Association.
By holding this Children’s Convention, the APCC hopes to foster “Global Citizens” who are able to think of others beyond various differences with OMOIYARI spirit, while encouraging the desire for world peace. The vision is for each and every one of the participants is to be “global citizens of an 'OMOIYARI' (compassionate) spirit, creating a more peaceful world abounds with the smiles of our children” and has the theme: “We are the BRIDGE: We connect dreams around the world.”
The vision embraces the idea of modern cultural interaction, through the creation of a place where children can experience first-hand our differences and similarities, fostering friendships and peace between participating countries and regions of the Asia-Pacific. It is their hope that children who participate in this exchange program will make long-lasting, “OMOIYARI” friendships with their fellow peers coming from various cultures and backgrounds.
Over the past 28 years, the APCC has hosted over 10,700 Junior Ambassadors with 6700 host families in Fukuoka and 2800 children and youth from Fukuoka have participated in the APCC Mission Project in partnering countries/regions. All of these activities have helped to develop everyone involved to become global citizens with the ‘OMOIYARI’ spirit.
To help realize the vision, APCC understands the importance of developing long-term activities from this exchange program; for instance, the enhancement of our “Fostering Program” to deepen our children’s desire to learn more about cultural exchange through youth activities, and the “BRIDGE Project”, giving past participants further opportunities to put their experiences to use toward creating a more peaceful world.
The three objectives of the APCC are:
To achieve these objectives, the APCC has three main projects:
Mission Project: to send Japanese children overseas and deepen their intercultural understanding through participating in a program of Homestay, school visits and real-life experiences in another country.
Invitation Project: which invites Junior Ambassadors (JA’s) from the Asian-Pacific countries/ regions and deepen their international understanding through intercultural exchange programs such as Homestay, School Visits and Exchange Camps in Fukuoka, Japan (2015 – 47 countries/regions, 224 Junior Ambassadors)
BRIDGE Project: to nurture future leaders who will actively join in the activities in the BRIDGE CLUB (BC) (alumni association) whose members are former participants and are invited to Fukuoka as Peace Ambassadors (PA’s). They will hold meetings with the BC members from other countries.
The children selected by the Australia Japan Society of Victoria participate in the Invitation Project and whilst in Japan will have the opportunity to take part in a 12 day (approx.) experience with other children from invited countries, experiencing family life though home stay and school visits and introduce traditions from their home country to other participants and the people of Fukuoka through taking part in an exchange camp and a performance event in Fukuoka City. It is hoped that by taking part in these activities, the children will build up a network of mutual understanding as they meet and make friends with children who look and speak differently to themselves. The project is also a chance for the citizens of Fukuoka and the surrounding areas to learn about other cultures first hand as they take part in the activities as a volunteer or as part of a Host Family.
INVITED COUNTRIES (2016)
*Special Invitation as Sister/Friendship City of Fukuoka
Perhaps you may enjoy reading the blog written by one of the 2012 Australian Junior Ambassadors or check out the Bridge Club Australia pages on AJSV website.
As part of the 25th APCC, the organization recognized the need to continue to develop its programs and has adopted the following strategic focus:
The Asian Pacific Children’s Convention nurtures youth as APCC Global Bridge Leaders who link our world and act as change agents in today’s global community.
Participation in APCC is not just a single experience, there is an expectation that children will remain involved in the program being run in Japan as well as by Australia’s Bridge Club and aim to become an APCC Global Bridge Leader:
They are looking for children who display the 3 core qualities of APCC Global Bridge Leaders – CARe – Communication, Action and Respect and to this end, we will be looking for such children during our selection of the 2017 Junior Ambassadors.