Springboard into the Future

Kazuhiro Akase
Council Member of F.I.C.C.

The 4th Asia-Pacific Rally was organized by Korea Camping Caravanning Federation from October 16 to 20, 1998 in Soraksan, the north-east part of the Republic of Korea. The venue was located in a beautiful and diversified national park, adjoining the military border with the North Korea. The rally, joined by 430 campers from 12 different countries of four continents, was a big success thanks to the members of K.C.C.F. and volunteer students of the local university who devoted themselves to this event. All the participants enjoyed the joyful and exciting entertainment programs, the ethnic foods offered by the host at various receptions and the interesting excursions to the unification frontier and to Mount Sorak.

Mr. Kyung-Woo Chan, President of K.C.C.F., attended all events and occasions, accompanied by his charming wife, to make sure that they would be most satisfying to the participants. Actually this rally could not have taken place without his courageous decision.

The rally had been originally scheduled for May but the Korean society was hit by the serious financial crisis last December. Immediately after this emergency situation took place, Mr. Chan and I discussed in earnest whether to cancel the rally or not. Finally, after careful consideration, Mr. Chan decided to postpone the rally to October instead of canceling it.

This decision was made, under the extremely difficult circumstances, to continue the activities of the F.I.C.C. Asia-Pacific Commission in the past and not to miss a good chance for Korean people to take part in the international camping event.

In this connection, we should not forget the consistent support by Mr. Chin-Sun Kim, Governor of Kangwon-Do Province as well as a great deal of assistance by Sam Lip Development which sponsored the rally and provided the Holiday Village for accommodation.

It is also worth mentioning that five motor caravans from Japan traveled across the sea by ferry to join the camping festival. This gtravel by vehicleh between Korea and Japan was the very first in the history of the two countries and was only made possible by those campers of both countries who are full of adventurous spirit.

The uniqueness of the rally described above was well expressed in the opening address by Mr. Lars Dahlberg, President of F.I.C.C.:

"The 4th F.I.C.C. Asia-Pacific Rally is a very good example of what camping is all about. This rally has brought together people from many corners of the world and I believe that during these days there will be born many new friendship relations between participants in the rally.

But this rally is also a good example of how camping can break down the barriers. It is namely so that five of Japanese camping friends have made a real history when coming to this rally by means of ferry with their own motorcaravans. This is a very first time in the history when people from Japan have been able to travel with their own vehicles to Korea.

I want to use this opportunity and thank and congratulate all of them. What they have done is a good proof of how camping and we ordinary campers can influence in relations between countries and the whole world globalization."

If we call the 1st Asia-Pacific Rally held in Koreafs Cheju Island in 1995 "start of a new history", this latest rally, again held in Korea after one complete round, can be regarded as "springboard into the future". And our goal is still far away.

May we all meet again at the next Asia-Pacific Rally!

February 1999 (Asia-Pacific News No.4)

Mark of Asia Pacific Commission

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