SEOUL, The city of Incheon, west of Seoul, will launch the 2019 Culture City of East Asia on Friday as part of a trilateral program to promote friendship between cities in South Korea, China and Japan, the culture ministry said.
The program was initiated in 2014, based on an agreement reached at a meeting of culture ministers from the three East Asian nations. Every year, the three countries each select one of their cities as Culture City of East Asia and throw cultural and arts fairs there as part of the friendship-building efforts.
Incheon, Japan's Toshima and China's Xi'an are the three cities chosen for this year's edition.
Incheon Mayor Park Nam-chun, Toshima Mayor Yukio Takano, Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine and a high-ranking official from the regional government of Xi'an will attend the opening ceremony set for Friday evening at Incheon Culture and Arts Center.
The regional government of Incheon will host the opening ceremony, titled "Cultural Exchange and Peace of East Asia," sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
A variety of music and dance performances will be staged during the opening ceremony to symbolize the program's hope for peace and cooperation among the three nations.
They include a musical featuring dance and acrobatic moves, a chorus of young singers from Incheon and young North Korean refugees and a string performance by musicians from the three countries.
Veteran South Korean pop singer Sim Soo-bong will stage a joint performance with a children's choir as the finale, according to the culture ministry.
The ceremony will be followed by a symposium at an Incheon hotel on Saturday where promoting cultural cities in East Asia and exchanges between cities in the region will be discussed.
Starting in May, the city of Incheon will also launch a host of cultural events, including a cinema festival and a literary conference, throughout the year as part of the trilateral program, the ministry also said.
The events will include a meeting of culture and tourism ministers from the three nations, the first ministerial gathering under the program.
Source: Yonhap news Agency