In comments to CNA, Tsumuraya said his organization has strong ties with the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and was invited to participate in the meeting as a representative of the Buddhist community.
"When I received this invitation, I was really happy, because having a knowledge of Christianity, it pushed me to get to know Christian youth," Tsumuraya said, explaining that he has worked with a lot of Christians and is very committed to interreligious dialogue.
Tsumuraya said he came primarily to listen and understand the different realities of youth from around the world.
In the case of Japan, he said the major challenges for youth are a widespread competitive and consumerist mentality, as well as the immense cultural pressure to be successful. And if youth don't give into this way of thinking, they might feel estranged from their peers or that they don't fit in, Tsumuraya said.
In cases when this happens, young people react in a variety of ways, he said, explaining that one big problem is that youth who feel that they don't quite fit in "are no longer able to go to school," due to the stigma they face, "so they stay home closed in their rooms."
Other major problems for Japanese youth are premature death due to "excessive work," he said, as well as suicide, which is a common phenomenon among teenagers in the country.
Tsumuraya voiced appreciation for Pope Francis' frequent references to the problem of teen and young adult suicide, which "is not just a Japanese problem, but it's a global problem."
"So thinking about this phenomena which affects the whole world, we must face it, above all in knowing the reality, then to think about how to accompany youth to avoid this terrible [phenomena]," he said.
Nicholas Lopez, a 27-year-old campus minister from Dallas, Texas, is also participating in the meeting as one of three representatives from the United States.
Lopez gave his testimony during the opening session, pointing to various challenges young people have faced during his experience working with youth on campus.
In comments to CNA, Lopez said the major topics he wants to bring to the table during the pre-synod meeting are "the concerns of the Hispanic Americans in the United States, and the solidarity between us and them."
The topic is particularly timely in the U.S. as concerns continue to mount over President Donald Trump's strict immigration policies. Many, including a high number of college students whose parents are immigrants, have voiced fear about deportation.
In addition to issues affecting the Hispanic community, Lopez said he also plans to discuss mental health issues, the higher education system in the United States and "the way young people are impacted on college campuses."
Also participating in the meeting is 25-year-old Corina Fiore Mortola Rodriguez of Mexico. She came with a large group of other youth from Latin America, which is one of the youngest and most Catholic continents in the world.
In comments to CNA, Mortola Rodriguez said the message she wants the Church to hear this week is that young people like herself are "valid interlocutors," and they need to be listened to and helped to go deeper in finding solutions to the problems they face, such as drugs, violence, poverty and unemployment.
Pointing to Pope Francis' visit to Mexico in 2016, she said his encouragement to youth and his appeals to avoid hopelessness and the allure of gangs was "a call not of tension, but to action."
Her reflection echoed the Pope's March 19 opening speech, in which he told youth they need to approach problems with a "head, heart, hands" mentality. The call to "think, feel and act," Mortola Rodriguez said, is also a call to be "unified" and to make concrete resolutions in confronting the problems they face.
As an example, Mortola Rodriguez said she helps lead a theater workshop for incarcerated youth in Mexico, which has helped them to "heal the wounds that have caused through the crime they committed."
"[Through us] they can heal this pain that they have in order to be able to return to society and find a new form of work," because healing is essential for a person's reintegration into society, she said.
Speaking of the contribution of the Latin American Church, Mortola Rodriguez said one thing she hopes her continent can offer the universal Church is "joy," because Latin Americans are " known for our joy."
"I think youth should be more joyful," she said, and noted how there are many young people who reflect what Pope Francis says when he talks about youth who seem old because they have lost their joy and happiness.
Another topic Mortola Rodriguez said she wants to discuss is vocation, because many people think of their vocations as only the choice of a state of life.
"But no. The vocation is a call, a call today, to the present, to be active, to be happy and to do concrete actions that benefit my society," she said, and voiced her desire to fight against social evils such as human trafficking, and to fight to "stop the things that harm us."