On April 14, 2023, the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS) organized the Launching Ceremony for the CJK Marathon 2023 Virtual Run at the Gwanghwamun Square, Seoul. During the ceremony, Deputy Director General Mr. KANG Young-shin from ROK MOFA, Deputy Chief and Minister Mr. FANG Kun from the Chinese Embassy, Minister Mr. CHUZO Kazuo from the Japanese embassy gave congratulatory remarks. CJK media and marathon participants residing in ROK also attended the ceremony to celebrate the beginning of the CJK Marathon.
Secretary General OU Boqian explained that the CJK Marathon embodies the sportsmanship from the Pyeongchang-Tokyo-Beijing Olympics, and inherits the common cultural values of ‘harmony with diversity’, adding momentum to the friendly relations between the three countries. The cooperation between CJK, which began more than 20 years ago when the three countries worked together to deal with the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis, has grown significantly while tackling the world economic crisis more than a decade ago, and is expected to bring more benefits to the people of the three countries in the post-pandemic era.
Deputy Director General KANG Young-shin from the ROK MOFA mentioned that the series of Olympic events held by CJK during the most difficult period of the pandemic showed the strong will of the three countries, and brought hope to the world. This virtual marathon inherits such spirit from the Olympics and is believed to inject positive energy to build harmony and unity between the three countries. As the next host country for the Trilateral Summit, ROK will promote the early hosting of the summit to accelerate trilateral cooperation.
Minister Mr. FANG Kun of the Chinese Embassy in ROK explained that the world is now stepping out of the bitter winter of the pandemic and ushering in a spring of hope for cooperation. He hopes that the three countries will take this event as an opportunity to uphold the spirit of the marathon, to enhance mutual understanding among the three countries, to promote exchanges and mutual understanding, and to strengthen the foundation of friendship and public opinion for cooperation between China, Japan and Korea.
Minister Mr. CHUZO Kazuo of the Embassy of Japan in ROK appreciated TCS’s creativity to host the virtual marathon. The marathon provides a new window for the people of the three countries to communicate and unite through the spirit of sportsmanship during the pandemic. Through this program, he hopes for the people of the three countries to deepen their communication and become closer with each other.
During the CJK Marathon opening ceremony, photo booths with the TCS mascot and panels introducing the stories of previous marathon participants and the Cultural City of East Asia Media and Internet Celebrities Tour were prepared for the public to enjoy.
The CJK Marathon is a platform for the people of China, Japan, and Korea to enhance mutual perception and friendship through running. One hundred people from each CJK country (300 total) will participate in the event virtually, as they run races at self-designated times and places from April 14th~May 12th, 2023. While the participation fee is free, participants must upload self-introductions and race testimonials on the official website. By sharing and commenting on each other’s posts, CJK participants can broaden understanding of each other's marathon culture and explore new sites and running courses of the three countries.