Hundreds of people gathered at Seoul Plaza in the heart of the capital to celebrate the fifth annual Korea-Japan Exchange Festival this Sunday.
This celebratory event first began in 2005 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Korea and Japan which has now grown into a large joint-celebration by the two neighboring countries.
[Interview : Seiji Akazawa, Head of Organizing Committee] "This year's festival is even more meaningful considering that hundreds of volunteers helped to make this event a success. And I hope that through this festival the relationship between Korea and Japan will continue to improve in the future."
The festival raised its curtains with an official announcement and congratulatory messages by the organizing committee followed by colorful performances by Japanese and Korean artists.
While many sat close to the stage to enjoy the show some also lined up to get a quick taste of traditional alcoholic beverages like sake and makgeolli while others jotted down their wishes on a giant origami star.
[Interview : NaokoYamashita, Japanese Teacher] "I am really interested in learning more about Korea, so when my friend told me about this event I decided to come down and check it out."
[Interview : Kim Min-hee, Visitor] "I think cultural exchange events like this one will help both countries to open up to each other more, aside from current political problems."
More than 500 performers took part in the event hoping that the festival will help Korea and Japan to come together and create an even brighter future between the two countries as friendship transcends all borders and boundaries.
"Not only has the friendship festival turned itself into a fun event for people of all ages to come and enjoy. It has also become an opportunity for people of different cultures to come and learn more about each other and embrace differences that may exist between them. Lee Ji-yoon Arirang News."