21st Japanese-German Forum

November 6–7, 2012
Berlin

The 21st Japanese-German Forum brought 37 participants from the two countries together in Berlin. At this year’s dialogue, the discussions focused on the new agenda and policies in each country in the context of their respective shifting political environments, pressing issues and potential areas for Japan-Germany cooperation in regard to energy security and the environment, and the new challenges presented by a growing East Asia.

On November 6, the Japanese-German Forum was held for the first time within the Bundestag, and in the evening, participants met with Chancellor Angela Merkel. The following day’s sessions were held at the Japanese-German Center Berlin, and Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Shuji Kira was among the speakers.

In the first session on “New Agendas and Policies of Germany and Japan in the Changing Political Environments,” the German participants explained that they remain committed to the EU as the basis for peace and prosperity in Europe, and despite the Greek crisis and other circumstances, they have been working to keep a check on German nationalism and support the EU. In terms of the relationship with Japan, some voiced the opinion that greater efforts should be made to promote exchanges of young people in the two countries in order to develop the next generation of exchange leaders. The Japanese participants touched on issues such as weak political leadership and populism, the financial crisis, and other issues occurring in the context of Japan’s current political instability, and at the same time discussed smart communities and other growth areas for the future. Participants from both countries expressed their awareness that, as advanced countries, Japan and Germany need to spell out their visions for future growth in order to counterbalance the growth of newly emerging countries, and they discussed ways in which the countries could cooperate in that regard.

In the second session, “Emergent Issues on Energy Security and Environment and Possible German-Japanese Cooperation,” the Japanese side offered a detailed explanation of the changes that have occurred in Japan’s nuclear power and overall energy policies in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and while the German side noted that they had already been moving away from nuclear power prior to “Fukushima,” the Japanese accident had a significant impact on Germany’s political situation and its energy policy, and they reported a rapid shift toward the total abolition of nuclear energy in Germany. Discussions were also held on the importance of having industrialized countries be able to offer newly emerging countries a model (e.g., in terms of CO2 reductions) that balances economic growth with environmental protection. In addition, the participants discussed the importance of German-Japanese cooperation in fields such as new energy and batteries.

The third session focused on “New Challenges of Growing East Asia: German and Japanese Views and their Collaboration.” The German participants noted that in the postwar era, Europe came together under the EU to produce conditions that allowed them to enjoy peace, and they questioned why, more than 60 years after the war, conflicts persist in East Asia. They also voiced concerns about a perceived Japanese shift toward the right. The Japanese side raised a number of issues, including the elements of instability within Chinese society, such as the widening income disparity in that country; conflicting elements within China; and the emergence of nationalism. In terms of how to deal with China in the future, participants discussed the need for multilateral rather than one-on-one approaches and the need to create stable relations between China and the West by pointing out ways in which China can resolve the contradictions and issues it is facing.

At this year’s forum, participants had an opportunity to speak with Chancellor Merkel for nearly an hour. Merkel spoke about Germany and the EU and her country’s relations with the various European nations, and during discussions of China, she again noted the importance of a multilateral approach.

After the forum concluded, the chairmen prepared a joint statement to be presented to Chancellor Merkel and Japan’s Prime Minister.

November 6

Session I: New Agendas and Policies of Germany and Japan in the Changing Political Environments

Session II: Emergent Issues on Energy Security and Environment and Possible German-Japanese Cooperation

Reception hosted by Ambassador Takeshi Nakane, Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany

November 7

Session III: New Challenges of Growing East Asia: German and Japanese Views and their Collaboration

GERMAN PARTICIPANTS

CHAIRMAN

PROF. DR. BERNHARD SCHEUBLE

Chairman of the Foundation Council, Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB)

PARTICIPANTS

PETER ALTAMAIER

Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

DR. FRIEDERIKE BOSSE

Secretary-General, Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB)

FLORIAN COULMAS

Director, German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ)

GESINE FOLJANTY-JOST

Vice President, University Halle-Wittenberg

EMILY HABER

State Secretary, German Foreign Office

GERD-UDO HAUSER

Director, International Market Issues and World Trade at DaimlerAG’s External Affairs and Public Policy Department

PETER HEINACHER

Head of Public Affairs / Energy Politics, RWE

ROLF HEINACHER

Member, German Parliament (SPD: Social Democratic Party of Germany)

VOLKER KAUDER

Member, German Parliament (CDU/CSU)

STEFAN LIEBICH

Member, German Parliament (The Left)

HANNS W. MAULL

Professor, University of Trier

MATTHIAS NASS

Chief International Correspondent, Weekly Newspaper DIE ZEIT

LARS NICOLAYSEN

Managing Director, German Press Agency Tokyo

HEINZ RIESENHUBER

Member, German Parliament (CDU); former Federal Minister for Education and Research

FRITHJOF SCHMIDT

Member, German Parliament (Alliance 90/ The Greens)

MARIO SCHMIDT

Redaktionsleiter Aktuelles, NDR

AMB. DR. VOLKER STANZEL

German Ambassador to Japan

PROF. DR. FRANZ WALDENBERGER

Professor, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich

JAPANESE PARTICIPANTS

CHAIRMAN

YUZABURO MOGI

Honorary CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kikkoman Corporation

PARTICIPANTS

NOBUO INABA

Director and Corporate Executive Vice President, Ricoh Co. Ltd.

HIDETO KAKINOKI

Director, Nikkei Media Promotion

SUJI KIRA

Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs; Member, House of Representatives (Democratic Party of Japan [DPJ])

MINORU KIUCHI

Member, House of Representatives (Liberal Democratic Party [LDP])

KANEICHI MAEHARA

Vice-Chairman and President, Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives)

MASAHARU NAKAGAWA

Member, House of Councillors (LDP)

TAKESHI NAKANE

Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany

HAJIME SASAKI

Executive Advisor, NEC Corporation

NAOTO SAKAGUCHI

Member, House of Representatives (DPJ)

KEN SHIBUSAWA

President, Japan Center for International Exchange

TATSUJIRO SUZUKI

Vice-Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan

TSUYOSHI TAKAHASHI

Regional Director for Europe and Director-General for the UK, Japan Foundation

TOSHIYUKI TAKANO

Senior Advisor, ITOCHU Corporation; Former Japanese Ambassador to Germany

HITOSHI TANAKA

Senior Fellow, Japan Center for International Exchange; Chairman, Institute for International Strategy, Japan Research Institute; Former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs

NAOKI TANAKA

President, Center for International Public Policy Studies

NORIYUKI WAKISAKA

Editorial Writer, The Asahi Shimbun

TAIZO YAKUSHIJI

Research Counselor/Board member, Institute for International Policy Studies (IIPS)

OBSERVERS

SHINJI NARAKI

Senior Manager, Secretariat Office, General Affairs Division, NEC Corporation

KAZUHIRO KATO

Principal, International Operation Planning Division, NEC Corporation

HISATO NAKANO

General Manager, Corporate Planning Division, Kikkoman Corporation

HAJIME SHINOTSUKA

General Manager, Department of Policy Studies, Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives)

SECRETARIAT

 

TOSHIHIRO MENJU

Managing Director and Chief Program Officer, Japan Center for International Exchange

HIDEO TONE

Program Officer, Japan Center for International Exchange

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