[FOCUS] Showing Insights Ahead of His Time

매거진/Webzine(English) 2017.11.17 10:01



 <The Man I Met; Chairman Cho Suck-rai> ep. 5


The Analects of Confucius says: “If you see the act of a wise person, try to emulate.” Chairman Cho has been a great mentor and role model to many younger people. In particular, as a renowned business leader of our society, he has engaged in various social contribution activities for which he has rightly received much respect. Since I met him at the Korea-japan Forum, every time I have seen him since, I have realized that he is a really great person.


First of all, Chairman Cho has played a crucial role in establishing Korea- Japan relations. The Korea-Japan relationship is a mixture of love and hatred due to the history of the Japanese colonial period of 36 years. In this tricky relationship, the roles that people play are important. We need people who have a deep understanding of both countries and are capable of drawing out conversations based on well-established human networks in both countries. I think Chairman Cho is one of only a few persons who can play this role.


In particular, in 2005 when the Korea-Japan relationship deteriorated quickly, Chairman Cho strove to keep the door to dialog open, emphasizing its importance, and I am still impressed by what he did then.


But, it’s not true that he emphasized only friendship between Korea and Japan unconditionally. Chairman Cho spoke gently, but said what he had to say about Japan and his Japanese counterparts took his words seriously. The current Korea-Japan relationship is in bad shape again, and I think we need a person like Chairman Cho now more than ever to maintain and develop good relations between our two countries.


In addition, he has shown insights with regard to fostering future leaders. At some meetings of the Korea-Japan Forum, I was able to discuss university education with Chairman Cho, someone who actually ran a university. Chairman Cho would point out the importance of industry-university cooperation and practical studies and I truly agreed with his forward-thinking insights.


Lastly, Chairman Cho is a humane person. When I took office as the president of a university, he sincerely encouraged me to run the school well no matter the difficulties. I remember that I was very grateful to him for the sincere care and respect he showed.


When I encountered him on a business trip, he welcomed me heartily, and he would also invite his younger acquaintances to a dinner to cheer us up, saying “Work hard! You are the future leaders of our country.”


Chairman Cho has always supported us as a respected business leader, a key person for Korea-Japan relations, a passionate educator who takes care of educating future leaders and, most of all, as a humane and great senior.


We pray for his health and wish that he can contribute to promoting Korea-Japan economic cooperation and national economy for a long time going forward.










Chang Je-kuk





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