The Foundation for Peace and Unification (FPU), a non-profit organization founded in January 2008 with a charter from South Korea's Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, was established to pursue Korea-Japan and Bering Strait tunnel projects. UTS Founder, Rev. Sun Myung Moon has been a leading proponent of both projects. The foundation conducts academic research and international promotional activities aimed toward successful execution of the projects.
As part of its activity, FPU recently sponsored an international thesis competition on the topic, "The Significance of the Bering Strait project and the Korea-Japan Tunnel project from a Providential Viewpoint and Ways to Pursue These Two Projects." Members of the "Unification Group" including Ambassadors for Peace, members of the Universal Peace Foundation (UPF), the Family Federation for Peace and Unification (FFWPU), and the Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace (IWFWP) were invited to take part in the competition. Those submitting theses were encouraged to develop novel and original ideas but guidelines limited texts to 10 pages in Korean, Japanese or English
The Foundation received 80 submissions from all over the world and non-Korean language theses needed to be translated and screened for judging. The foundation initially announced there would be a Grand Prize paper with an award of $20,000, two second prize papers with awards of $5,000 each and two third prize papers with awards of $3,000 each. In the end, due to the number and quality of submissions, the foundation awarded two first prizes, three second prizes and four third prizes.
UTS is pleased to announce that one of its professors, a current student and an alumna were among the winners. Dr. Michael Mickler, Professor of Church History, won second prize for "Vital Missing Links: The Bering Strait and Korea-Japan Tunnel Projects in the Context of an Emerging Global Transportation Network." Mr. Masafuku Oyamada, a current UTS M.R.E. student, won second prize for "The Providential Meaning of Bering Strait and Korea-Japan Tunnel Projects from the Viewpoint of External and Internal Equalization." Andrea Higashibaba (UTS'86) won third prize for "Creating a New Paradigm for International Relationships and World Peace." Congratulations to the winners.