Overview of the Forum 2003

Picture forum2003

  • Date
  • August 2, 2003 (10:00 - 17:00)
  • Location:
  • Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center, Hyogo (Yumebutai 1, Higahiura-cho, Tsuna-gun, Hyogo)
  • Details
  • (1)Keynote Proposal 1(10:00~10:40)
    • Toshitami Kaihara
    • President, The Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial Research Institute
  • (2)Keynote Proposal 2(10:40~11:20)
  • (3)Keynote Proposal 3(11:30~12:00)
  • (2)Discussion(13:00~17:00)

Mr. Satoshi Iue, Representative Director of the Asia Pacific Forum, Awaji Conference Japan delivered an opening address, which was followed by presentations on three keynote proposals by three different persons with Prof. Makoto Iokibe of the Graduate School of Kobe University acting as the coordinator.

First, President of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Memorial Research Institute Toshitami Kaihara said that knowledge should be generated in view of the population migration and mobility among the various countries of Asia, based on statistical data on population, the sharp increase in the number of tourists and disparities among countries, in addition to forecasts on the future aging of the population in the various countries of Asia and elsewhere. Mr. Kaihara also said that, although there appear to be negative opinions in this matter such as the restrictions on sovereign states, the people in the Asian region are in general good at adapting to life in countries besides their own, so this problem can be overcome.

The second presenter, General Partner of Compass Providers L.L.C. Setsuzo Kohsaka said that globalization was not a recent phenomenon but one that could be traced back to the age of geographical discovery. What makes globalization now different from the past is that today, as export substitution-led economies in Japan and ASEAN, which previously fueled the global economy in a flying geese pattern, have ground to a halt, and as an awareness of a "Spaceship Earth" without a frontier has become apparent, such issues have surfaced as global environmental problems, poverty, AIDS and SARS. Mr. Kohsaka proposed that Asia, where traditional thought is grounded in "symbiosis with nature," could pave the way in overcoming these crisis situations.

The third presenter, Prof. Pasuk Phongpaichit of the Chulalongkorn University, the Kingdom of Thailand, explained that a huge debate involving the people unfolded concerning the rapid economic growth that began after 1985 and the sudden financial crisis that ensued. Amid cries of hostility toward globalization, the King's speech in late 1997 was a major turning point to caution and encourage the people. The people learned a lesson through the financial crisis: it was necessary, to foster domestic strength aimed at self-sufficiency and self-reliance as well as to build friendly relations on the diplomatic front.

After lunch, candid and vigorous discussions were held in the afternoon, with expert opinions raised from various perspectives on the globalization of people, products and capital, with Prof. Shigeyuki Abe of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies of Kyoto University acting as the coordinator.

Finally, Prof. Iokibe summarized the two-day Awaji Conference in a speech, which served as the draft for the "Awaji Statement," and upon the approval of all the members, the conference was concluded.

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