Abstract of the Forum (Saturday, August 4, 2007)

Picture forum2007

  • Date
  • Saturday, August 4, 2007
  • Location:
  • Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center (1 Yumebutai, Awaji-shi, Hyogo)
  • Theme:
  • "Asia, Struggling with Energy Issues"
  • Details
  • (1)Keynote Proposal(10:10~12:00)
    • Yoshihide Esaki
    • Director for Energy Policy Planning Office, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
    • Yukinori Kuwano
    • President of Photovoltaic Power Generation Technology Research Association
    • Karen Schneider
    • Deputy Executive Director, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • (2)Discussion(13:00~16:45)
  • (Coordinators)
    • Shigeyuki Abe
    • Professor, Faculty of Policy Studies, Doshisya University
    • Yutaka Katayama
    • Professor, Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University
    • Kenichi Sudo
    • Professor, Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University

After a welcome message from Mr. Satoshi Iue, Representative Director of the Asia Pacific Forum, Awaji Conference Japan, three lecturers presented keynote proposals with Prof. Kenichi Sudo of The Graduate School of Intercultural Studies at Kobe University guiding the flow.  First of all, Mr. Yoshihide Esaki, Director for Energy Policy Planning Office of Japan's Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, reported that "fossil fuel costs increased as a result of targeting mainly CO2 reductions as a way of addressing the global warming problem," adding that, "in order to balance the environment and economic development, Japan and the rest of the world must now improve energy efficiency and search for alternative energy sources to fossil fuels. Japan has some of the best energy conservation and alternative energy technologies in the world and is, therefore, expected to make an international contribution in that area."  Next, Mr. Yukinori Kuwano, President of Photovoltaic Power Generation Technology Research Association, told how "solar power continues to spread around the world and that, in Japan, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is spearheading plans to cover about 10% of all energy needs with solar power by 2030. Japan leads the world in solar cell production and is promoting the Genesis Plan to use solar cells to fill future energy gaps. It is a mammoth plan to supply electric power to countries around the world by building solar power stations in the world's biggest deserts and connecting them over superconducting transmission lines of almost no electrical resistance. This would solve the world's population, environment and energy problems. Right now, Japan and China are talking about a Silk Road Genesis Plan." Lastly, Ms. Karen Schneider, Deputy Executive Director of the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, talked about the present and future estimates of fossil fuel supply and demand, and the environmental impact of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, stating that "Asia, and particularly China and India, are predicted to remain strongly dependent on coal as a fossil fuel. Moreover, the world's dependency on Middle East oil will grow as the IEA estimates forecast the Middle East's share of oil production to reach 40% by 2030." She added that, in order to solve these problems, "investment structures must be open and transparent. Also, instead of China and India dealing with the problem themselves, international cooperation and partnerships are essential towards obtaining the best worldwide results." After lunch, the second half of the Forum featured first presentations by Osaka Gas and Kurita Water Industries on their corporate activities in the renewable energies field, which was moderated by Prof. Shigeyuki Abe of the Faculty of Policy Studies at Doshisha University and Prof. Yutaka Katayama of the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies at Kobe University. After that, free discussion was opened so that members, guests and lecturers could speak from their individual fields of expertise. As a final note, Mr. Makoto Iokibe, President of National Defense Academy and Emeritus Professor of Kobe University, read the Awaji Conference Statement to recap the two days of activities. He noted that, in order to deal with the energy demand and environmental problems that are growing alongside economic development in Asia and especially in China and India, it is necessary for industrially advanced nations and developing nations to cooperate and build relations of trust, for Japan and other industrially advanced nations to provide energy and environmental technologies to developing nations, develop eco-friendly alternative energies and use nuclear power in the interim. For this to be achieved, he mentioned that it was important for governments, businesses and people to demonstrate a new environmental consciousness and innovate lifestyles. After verifying the approval of the 60 or so participants, the Forum came to a close.

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