Global Festa Japan 2016
Global Festa Japan 2016 was held at Odaiba in Tokyo on October 1st and 2nd. This annual event was jointly hosted by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and several other Japanese governmental organizations. The major purpose of the festival, an International Cooperation Day, is to promote awareness of the need for the international cooperation and the importance of joint efforts between the governmental and citizen groups, as well as NGOs. During the two-day event, 269 organizations and groups participated and about 100,000 people visited.
Exhibits at the LFNKR booth included pictures illustrating some of the serious North Korea issues, primarily the ongoing abuse of human rights and inhumanity at North Korean prison camps. Other photos featured some of this NGO’s activities here in Japan.
At the front of our booth was a full-sized replica of a punishment cell. This exhibit attracted special attention because any visitor could step into the cage and experience just a bit of the actual imprisonment experience. The cage gave them a deeper understanding of the mistreatment involved in the human rights issues in North Korea.
LFNKR also presented an unexpectedly popular seminar, which included quizzes to provide a bit of basic information on North Korea. Some of the quiz winners won candies, while others received DVDs and books on the prison camps, all published by LFNKR.
Also at the seminar two ladies, former North Korean defectors, who have now resettled in Japan, talked about their own experiences, focusing on their escapes from North Korea and how they reached Japan. They also told of their experiences as they resettled in Japan. These speeches won enthusiastic applause. Since many visitors wanted to hear more about their experiences, large numbers of them visited the LFNKR booth to talk further with the ladies. The first-hand stories seemed to be most popular with the visitors.
LFNKR members worked especially hard handing out leaflets inviting people to our booth. We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of these volunteers, which, we are sure, increased the number of visitors.