What is APCC?
Asian-Pacific Childrenʼs Convention in Fukuoka (APCC)APCC:Asian-Pacific Children's Convention was created as a commemorative event of the 1989 Asian-Pacific Exposition, in celebration of Fukuoka Cityʼs 100th anniversary. In 1989, the first APCC was implemented by Junior Chamber International Fukuoka, in partial commemoration of the national convention of the Junior Chamber International Japan. The JCI Fukuoka members who launched this project believed that by providing children a chance to be exposed to diverse values in the world at an early stage of their life – as 11-year-olds – while they are still sensitive and unsophisticated, they could cultivate a sensibility of peace and coexistence with people from different backgrounds. Through the establishment of this project, JCI Fukuoka members were also eager to contribute to enhancing the attraction of Fukuoka as a cosmopolitan city, which historically and geographically has had a key role in exchange between Japan and the cultures of continental Asia.
This civic movement, funded by the local government, donations from corporate sponsors and our Supporters' Association has developed from a simple international exchange event into an international educational program involving a number of cities and schools. In 1998, to commemorate the 10th APCC, an international network of former APCC participants, “BRIDGE CLUB” (BC), was founded. BC has branch organizations in a number of our participating countries and regions and they work to promote peace and coexistence between their members and the wider community. When the APCC marked its 20th anniversary in 2008, all the BCs came together and founded the "BRIDGE CLUB International Organization" (BCIO). BCIO has produced APCC Global BRIDGE Leaders who were expected to become the driving force to disseminate the APCC vision and strive to embody it through lively activities as OMOIYARI global citizens. During the same 20th year, APCC started the “Nurturing Project” which was continually conducted for the next decade, to further develop the children of Fukuoka by equipping them with global knowledge and perspectives after they had their first international exchange experience at age 11.
As outlined above, APCC got an early start working on the development of global leaders, a necessity which has now become an urgent national issue. Based on our achievements over the past years, we have expanded the range and aims of this effort. From 2019 we have added new features to our two main programs,"BRIDGE Summer Camp"and dispatch-type program centered on spring break ’"BRIDGE Challenge Trip"and provide even further support for our participants to grow. APCC has taken a step forward to keep building the bridge of OMOIYARI toward 50 and even 100 years from now. Children, with their flexible minds, curiosity and boundless energy, steadily carry our dreams and hopes towards fruition, opening up endless possibilities in the coming era.
We, as members of APCC, will become global citizens with an “OMOIYARI” spirit, creating a more peaceful world where the smiles of children abound.
Asian-Pacific Children's Convention in Fukuoka
Chairman Yutaka Aso
For the past 34 years, APCC has focused on creating opportunities for Fukuoka children to develop an interest in the wider world and take on challenges through encounters and exchanges with people overseas. Interacting with foreign friends of the same generation is becoming an opportunity for children to gain interest and energy. Even with this year's online exchange, the environment in which the children have to communicate in English with people from various countries and regions has become a big challenge for the children, and it is very encouraging to see their growth through each session. Furthermore, in the fall, Peace Ambassadors visited Fukuoka again and were able to conduct a face-to-face program for the first time in three years. They participated in APCC’s program as Junior Ambassadors when they were 11 years old, and have continued to be active as BRIDGE CLUB members even after returning to their countries and regions. The fact that these young people are now active in their own countries and continue to connect with APCC and Fukuoka is an invaluable treasure for us. I would like to express my gratitude to all of the companies, volunteers, and local communities who have supported us so far.
In addition, we have opened the educational site "APCC for education" while taking advantage of the connections with those relating with APCC, and provide opportunities for more children to "create opportunities." It is because of your support that we are able to continue to provide opportunities for children to experience different cultures, without changing our goals, and by changing our format using methods that suit the society, environment, and times of the time.
We will continue our activities to engourage children, who will be responsible for the future, acquire a global perspective, curiosity, and ambition. We look forward to your continued support and cooperation in the future.
Asian-Pacific Children's Convention in Fukuoka
APCC Supporters' Association
President Susumu Ishihara
BRIDGE KIDS PROGRAMS 2022, the 34th year of the Asia-Pacific Children's Convention in Fukuoka (APCC), was an online exchange program called "BRIDGE Virtual Summer Camp" between 122 children from 21 countries and regions and 61 children of elementary school students in Fukuoka. APCC also held a face-to-face program, "Peace Ambassador Program" in Fukuoka and invited 13 participants from 12 countries and regions for the first time in three years. Then APCC successfully concluded the both programs.
Due to the impact of the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) that has continued since 2020, APCC has been unable to hold both programs, invitation-type and dispatch-type programs, for about three years. However, even under these circumstances, we have repeatedly considered whether it is possible to interact with people overseas, and as a result, we have decided to create unprecedented new program "BRIDGE Virtual Summer Camp" and a project "APCC for education" that make full use of online technology.
We believe that the exchanges that APCC has had with countries and regions around the world over the past 30 years have great significance for Fukuoka's internationalization and future development. We will finally resume face-to-face programs next year, but we will utilize our past experience and the new know-how we have cultivated during the coronavirus pandemic to encourage the children and citizens of Fukuoka to become interested in different cultures and international exchange. We are committed to work even harder to develop the programs that you can be interested in.
In closing, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the continued support we have received from many people this year, despite the current circumstances. As a "Supporters Association," we would like to continue supporting APCC so that it can further enhance and develop.
I really appreciate everyone again.
APCC started as a participating project of "Yokatopia" in 1989, the 100th anniversary of Fukuoka city administration, and changed its name to "Yokatopia" on the 31st anniversary (2019).BRIDGE KIDS PROGRAMS"year,Invitation-type project “BRIDGE Summer Camp”"andDispatch type business “BRIDGE Challenge Trip”We are mainly developing two international exchange projects.
"BRIDGE KIDS PROGRAMS" is a dynamic initiative that transcends all boundaries, such as differences in culture, customs, language, and even generation, deepening mutual understanding through repeated "exchanges" and "dialogue," and overcoming barriers. The differences that exist in the world and around us may sometimes be irreconcilable, but through "exchange" and "dialogue" at "BRIDGE KIDS PROGRAMS", let's acknowledge those differences and understand each other. This will broaden our horizons. If we can connect with each other with these OMOIYARI hearts, our future will be bright and full of smiles. With children as the protagonists who connect the present and the future, adults with children's hearts will join together, and with the slogan "We are the BRIDGE," we will connect people and people, heart to heart, and make this vision a reality. I will aim for it.
Exchange Program in FUKUOKA
Every summer, we invited over 200 11-year-old Junior Ambassadors and Chaperones from over 30 countries and regions around the world. The entire city of Fukuoka will be treated as a large campsite, and a dynamic cross-cultural exchange will take place over about two weeks, including Homestay, School Visit and Exchange Camp in Fukuoka.
Overseas Exchange Program
Every year during spring break and every other year during summer break, we offer youths from Fukuoka an opportunity to go overseas and deepen their intercultural understanding through participating in programs of Homestay, School Visit and cultural activities with local children. This program also encourage their interest in and exploration of Japanese culture.
Through our business, APCC is working towards achieving the goals of the SDGs and realizing a sustainable society.
Initiatives related to “education”
By experiencing international exchange from elementary school onwards, children acquire a global sensibility and develop an attitude of self-awareness and exploration. Many children who have experienced the project have started learning English on their own, expanded their interests, and gone on to explore the world.
Children from more than 30 countries and regions around the world come to Fukuoka to foster friendships that overcome differences in language, culture, politics, and religion, with the aim of creating a world where ``differences'' are accepted and ``we help each other.'' Masu.
Initiatives related to “peace”
APCC works with the vision of nurturing ``global citizens with OMOIYARI hearts'' and ``creating a world full of smiles for children.'' Having been active for over 35 years, OMOIYARI's heart has steadily spread all over the world.