New opportunities for collaboration in Japan: Living water for WACC

WACC General Secretary Karin Achtelstetter visited Kwassui Women’s University in Nagasaki, Japan, whose Chancellor is Mr Takashi Yuguchi.

Kwassui means “living water” and is a direct reference to John 4:10.

When the Chancellor of Kwassui Women’s University in Nagasaki (Japan), Mr Takashi Yuguchi, contacted me to apply for corporate membership in WACC, it was a significant step. Not just one department, but the entire university sought a closer relationship with WACC and its programs.

Kwassui education for girls and young women dates back to 1879, when Elizabeth Russell and Jennie Gheer came to Nagasaki through the American Methodist Women's Foreign Missionary Society.

However, it was only during my visit to Nagasaki that I understood the broader context and significance. A post-secondary institution and its related high school  located in one of Japan’s peace cities with its tragic second World War history is seeking closer collaboration with WACC, an organization that traces its roots back to exactly the same post-war period, when churches and church-related institutions came to address the powerful role propaganda and media can play in fuelling war and conflict.

“Living Water” – kwassui – is the life reinforcing message in the face of war and devastation in the same way that WACC in its programs and projects seeks to advocate peace journalism and to support and strengthen peaceful communities in their efforts to bring about social justice.

Mr Takashi Yuguchi, Chancellor of the Kwassui Women’s University in Nagasaki, Japan

In my meetings with the Chancellor and faculty, we identified various areas in which WACC and Kwassui Women’s University might be able to collaborate in the future. We discussed WACC’s Summer School program, research related to media monitoring and getting connected to other academic institutions within the WACC network and membership.

Similarly, Kwassui high school students who are active at the local, national, and international level in peace initiatives might find a way of getting connected to WACC’s Voices for Peace program.

In all my conversations and planning sessions, I could feel the spirit of the “living water.” Welcome to WACC, Kwassui Women’s University!

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