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Dr. Olivier Urbain and Dr. Agnes Chan
Dr. Olivier Urbain (left) and Dr. Agnes Chan (right)

The Min-On Music Museum is one of only a handful of music museums in the world. Located in Shinanomachi, Tokyo since 1998, the Museum has to date welcomed more than 1.6 million visitors. In addition to a variety of exhibitions and services as a music library, it has occasionally hosted series of cultural lectures and symposia related to the performing arts.

This year, in commemoration of Min-On’s 50th anniversary, the Museum initiated a new series of symposia entitled The Power of Music taking as its theme “Music and Peace” to encourage discussion on how music can contribute to the cause of world peace.

The first symposium was held on October 22 at Tsuda Hall in Tokyo; the two panelists were Dr. Agnes Chan from Hong Kong and Dr. Olivier Urbain from Belgium, and the event was moderated by cultural journalist Miyako Yamada. Dr. Chan is a pop singer and popular TV personality in Japan as well as a professor of education and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. Dr. Urbain is director of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy Research and formerly a professor of peace studies specializing in the field of music and conflict transformation. Both experts shared their own experiences and discussed their beliefs on the power of music to promote understanding and friendship— essential components for world peace.

A lively question-and-answer session with the audience followed the presentations.