Building on the momentum generated by the Sunnylands Initiative Retreat in Odawara, Japan in August 2022, and looking forward to the upcoming G7 Summit in Hiroshima, JCIE hosted a public symposium in Tokyo to deepen discussions on Japan’s role in defending universal values in the Indo-Pacific. Recommendations generated through the discussions were compiled after the event and then submitted to Prime Minister Kishida on April 3. You can read the recommendations in Japanese here (English translation coming soon). A video recording of the event is also available at the bottom of this page.
During the event, Gen Nakatani, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on International Human Rights Issues and Rahm Emanuel, US Ambassador to Japan, spoke to a group of over 50 attendees both in person and online, including Japanese Diet members, representatives from civil society organizations, and ambassadors from foreign embassies in Tokyo. Following their speeches, Ambassador Yukio Takasu (Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Human Security; Former Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations; Chair, JCIE Study Team on Democracy for the Future) outlined the concept of establishing an Indo-Pacific Platform for Universal Values that would act as an additional funding mechanism for civil society and media organizations that are conducting important work to defend democracies, which was one of the recommendations outlined in the Odawara Statement.
Representatives from civil society, academia, and the private sector then spoke during a panel discussion where they considered and shared specific threats to democratic values, human rights, and the rules-based international order in the Indo-Pacific, and discussed Japan’s role in defending them and their expectations for the G7 Summit. The event was streamed to YouTube and a full recording of the event will be available. The event was followed by a Diet member breakfast roundtable the following morning, featuring two American speakers who offered a US perspective on these issues.
*Translated by JCIE
AKIO OKAWARA, President and CEO, Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE/Japan)
Part I: Keynote Remarks
GEN NAKATANI, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on International Human Rights Issues
RAHM EMANUEL, US Ambassador to Japan
Part II: Panel Discussion
YUKIO TAKASU, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Human Security; Former Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations; Chair, JCIE Study Team on Democracy for the Future [PRESENTATION]
HIDEKI WAKABAYASHI, Executive Secretary, THINK Lobby, Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation (JANIC) [PRESENTATION]
KIMITOSHI YABUKI, Chairman of the International Relations Committee of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA), Partner at Law, Yabuki Law Offices [PRESENTATION]
MAIKO ICHIHARA, Professor, Institute for Global Governance Research, Graduate School of Law, School of International and Public Policy, Hitotsubashi University
MIYUKI ZENIYA, Group Chief Sustainability Officer, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc.; Chief Sustainability Officer, MUFG Bank, Ltd.
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