Yuka Takenaka

Yuka Takenaka (15 years old)

Protecting the World Heritage, a common treasure of humanity.

What is peace for you?

That people around the world, regardless of nationality, language, culture, race, or religion, will be able to accept, respect, and care for each other.

Protecting the World Heritage, a common treasure of humanity.

Hi everyone. I’m Yuka Takenaka. I’m 15 years old and I go to Suito Kokusai Senior High School. I am so happy to be here and see you all today. Thank you so much for giving me a chance to speak my message in front of all of these brilliant people and people of all different backgrounds.

I really love my Japanese culture and I love connecting with people from other countries. I’ve been doing a volunteer work called Nagomi Visit since I was little. Through this volunteer work, I accept the guests from different countries around the world at my house and welcome them by serving Japanese traditional dishes. I introduce them to Japanese culture by performing sword fighting, traditional dances, and handmade picture story shows. I love to hear they love my country Japan and I also like to hear about their countries. These intercultral conversation makes us come to like our countries more and more. My life has taught me the importance of learning, finding and understanding the different countries culture. And I realized that accepting the differences in value and diversity through international exchanges allows us to deeply understand each others regardless to the nation, ethnicity, race, gender, or religion, which leads to make the world a peaceful world. I started to learn and work to preserve the World Heritage Sites to deepen my understanding about my country and other country and I’m an approved and an active member of the World Heritage Academy. World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for having cultural and/or natural sites of ‘Outstanding Universal Value’, which are important across countries and generations. Why the world heritage sites have outstanding value in many aspects they are also a tragic reminder of war, racism, or slavery:a reminder of things that we must stop from recuring ever again.

By being able to connect to our history and culture, we can learn about our own and other countries’ cultures. If we are able to do this collectively, we can share a common understanding on how important and precious it is that we have been handed down such an amazing history and have something that unites us. I will speak on the importance of preserving our world heritage especially to the next generation. This is only possible if we work together.

So, I will, amongst many like minded teenagers, join forces to make the world a better place and I will try to be a role model for teens and serve as the bridge between japan and the world!

thank you!