24th Japanese-German Forum

October 27–29, 2015
Tokyo

The 24th Japanese-German Forum was held on October 27–29, 2015, in Tokyo at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Mita Conference Hall. Japanese Chair Mogi Yuzaburo and German Chair Matthias Nass led discussions focused on three topics, “Domestic Challenges and Political Response,” “Growth and Well-Being in an Aging Society—Potentials of Social Innovation and Limitations,” and “Foreign and Security Policy, More Active Role of Japan and Germany.”

In Session 1, “Domestic Challenges and Political Responses,” Senior Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Ken Saito spoke about the adoption of the new Japan security bill, which allows the use of collective self-defense, and about the importance of the future domestic response to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. Hon. Koichiro Gemba (House of Representatives) asserted that Japan’s greatest challenge is its declining birth rate and aging population. He also discussed the new security bill, trends in China and Russia, and the response of the Democratic Party of Japan to the House of Councillors election that is scheduled for next year. Dr. Heinz Riesenhuber (Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union) noted that while the growing influx of Syrian refugees was a major short-term challenge, accepting refugees would benefit Germany in the medium term as a solution to the country’s aging population. He also spoke about Germany’s transition to renewable energy and the Greece debt crisis. After that, Dr. Matthias Bartke (Social Democratic Party) gave an overview of Germany’s history of accepting immigrants and refugees and spoke about its pros and cons. He went on to state that having a positive attitude toward supporting refugees enhances the confidence of the German people. During the Q&A session, participants discussed domestic opinion about Japan’s security bill, Japan’s response to the Syrian refugees, energy problems facing both countries, the evaluation of the progress of Industrie 4.0, and the importance of German-Japan cooperation.

In Session 2, “Growth and Well-Being in an Aging Society–Potentials of Social Innovation and Limitations, ” the president of the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry, Nakajima Atsushi, stated that while both Japan and Germany are facing a declining birth rate and aging population, the problem is more serious in Japan, and so it is essential that greater consideration be given to the acceptance of immigrants.

In Session 3, “Foreign and Security Policy, More Active Role of Japan and Germany,” Hitoshi Tanaka (JCIE Senior Fellow; Chairman, Japan Research International Institute for Strategic Studies) spoke about Japan’s response to the rise of China and Russia, the importance of strengthening Japan’s security capabilities, and its unity with the European Union. Dr. Frithjof Schmidt (90/The Greens) gave a comprehensive analysis of the current international landscape and Germany’s efforts to take a more active role in international politics.

The subsequent discussion focused on Japan’s expectations of Germany regarding the situation in East Asia, German-Japan cooperation toward the peaceful resolution of world conflicts, and policies to improve Japan-China and Japan-Korea relations.

Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Miki Yamada hosted a reception on the night of the 27th, and Dr. Hans Carl von Werthern, ambassador to Japan, also hosted a reception on the night of the 28th.

The forum ended on the 29th with a courtesy call by the delegation to Prime Minister Abe. During the visit, Abe spoke about the importance of the Japan-German relationship and the important role that the Japanese-German Forum plays in that relationship. The Japanese and German chairmen then outlined the agenda of their meeting and discussed their findings with the prime minister.

October 28

Session I: Domestic Challenges and Political Response

Session II: Growth and Well-being in an Ageing Society-Potentials of Social Innovation and Limitations 

October 29

Session III: Foreign and Security Policy, More Active Role of Japan and Germany 

 

GERMAN PARTICIPANTS

CHAIRMAN

MATTHIAS NASS

Chief International Correspondent, Weekly Newspaper DIE ZEIT

PARTICIPANTS

MIN DIR DR. THOMAS BAGGER

Head of Policy Planning Staff, Federal Foreign Office

Dr. MATTHIAS BARTKE

MP (SPD)

Prof. Dr. VERENA BLECHINGER-TALCOTT

Professor, Free University Berlin

Dr. FRIEDERIKE BOSSE

Secretary General, Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB)

Prof. Dr. VOLKER DEVILLE

Director Future Topics, Allianz SE

Prof. Dr. GESINE FOLJANTY-JOST

Professor, University Halle-Wittenberg

Prof. Dr. HANNS W. MAULL

Senior Distinguished Fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs

LARS NICOLAYSEN

Tokyo Bureau Chief, German Press Agency

Ambassador Dr. NORBERT RIEDEL

Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Federal Foreign Office

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. HEINZ RIESENHUBER

MP (CDU/CSU); former Federal Minister for Education and Research

Dr. FRITHJOF SCHMIDT

MP (Bundnis 90/Die Grunen)

VOLKER STANZEL

Senior Distinguished Fellow, German Institute for International and Security Affairs

Dr. SABINE STRICKER-KELLERER

Senior China Counsel, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Prof. Dr. FRANZ WALDENBERGER

Director, German Institute for Japanese Studies

Ambassador Dr. HANS CARL VON WERTHERN

German Ambassador to Japan

YOUNG LEADERS

ANDREA HIDEG

Head of Department Foreign Trade Promotion and Export Controls; Federation of German Whole Sale, Foreign Trade and Services

IPPEITA NISHIDA

Research Fellow, Tokyo Foundation

OBSERVERS AND SECRETARIAT

MONIKA BRANDL

Head of Administration, JDZB

Dr. WOLFGANG BRENN

Head of Project Management, JDZB

RUTH BRODESSER

Protocol, German Embassy in Japan

ALEXANDER EHRLE

Lawyer in Training

JOHANNES FRITSCH

Lawyer in Training

AXEL GUGEL

Planning Staff, Federal Foreign Office

MASARU SAKATO

Deputy Secretary General, JDZB

JURGEN SCHULZ

Director for Security Policy, Federal Foreign Office

PETRA SIGMUND

Director, East Asia Division, Foreign Office

MONICA SOMMER

Councilor, Work and Welfare, German Embassy in Japan

TATJANA WONNEBERG

Project Management, JDZB

JAPANESE PARTICIPANTS

CHAIRMAN

YUZABURO MOGI

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

PARTICIPANTS

HIROYASU ANDO

President, Japan Foundation

YASUNORI FUJI

Director, Senior Executive Officer, Head of Compliance Control Department, Tsumura & Co.

KOICHIRO GEMBA

Member, House of Representatives, Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ); Former Minister for Foreign Affairs

KEIICHIRO HASHIMOTO

Executive Vice President, COO, Shioyatochi Co., Ltd.

NOBUO INABA

Director, Ricoh Company, Ltd.; President, Ricoh Institute of Sustainability and Business

TOSHIMASA IUE

CEO, LIXIL Housing Technology

HIDETO KAKINOKI

Head, Project Planning Office, Nikkei Inc

IZURU KATO

President, Totan Research Co., Ltd.

YOKO KAWAMURA

Professor, Seikei University

MINORU KIUCHI

Member, House of Representatives, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP); Former Senior Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs

RYOSEI KOKUBUN

President, National Defense Academy of Japan

TOSHIAKI MIURA

Political and Diplomatic Correspondent, Asahi Shimbun

ATSUSHI NAKAJIMA

Chairman, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)

TAKESHI NAKANE

Director and Executive Adviser, Nippon Steel Kowa Real Estate Co., Ltd.

TETSUO NARUKAWA

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Germany

AKIO OKAWARA

President, Japan Center for International Exchange

MASARU ONISHI

Director, Chairman, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.

KEN SAITO

Senior Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishers; Member, House of Representatives (LDP)

HAJIME SASAKI

Honorary Advisor, NEC Corporation

TAKAHIRO SHINYO

Vice-President , Kwansei Gakuin University; Former Japanese Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany

SHIRO SUGATA

Director and Corporate Advisor, USHIO INC

TOSHIYUKI TAKANO

Audit & Supervisory Board Member, Japan Post Co., Ltd.; Former Japanese Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany

HITOSHI TANAKA

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

TAIZO YAKUSHIJI

Research Counselor, Institute for International Policy Studies (IIPS)

OBSERVERS

MASAKI IKEGAMI

Director, Central and South Eastern Europe Division, European Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

KAZUHIRO KATO

Principal, Global Business Planning Division, NEC Corporation.

KYOKO KOTARI

Researcher, Institute for International Strategy, Japan Research Institute, Ltd.

FUMIYOSHI KAYANUMA

Deputy Vice President, Corporate Strategy Department, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd.

MIHO MIZUHAKI

Head of Secretarial Section, LIXIL Housing Technology

RYUTA MIZUUCHI

Consul General of Japan in Dusseldorf

HISATO NAKANO

General Manager, Corporate Planning Division, Kikkoman Corporation

SATOSHI SUZUKI

Deputy Director-General, European Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

SECRETARIAT (JAPAN CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE)

DAI FUNAKI

Program Officer, JCIE

PATRICK ISHIYAMA

Web and Book Design, JCIE

HIKARU ITO

Technology and Communications Officer, JCIE

HYEJIN LEE

Program Associate, JCIE

TOSHIHIRO MENJU

Managing Director and Chief Program Officer, JCIE

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