Overview of the International Symposium (Friday, July 31, 2009)

Picture Symposium2008

  • Date
  • Friday, July 31 , 2009
  • Location:
  • Awaji Yumebutai International Conference Center(1 Yumebutai, Awaji-shi, Hyogo)
  • Theme:
  • "How to Survive the Global Economic Crisis: World Wisdom, Asian Wisdom and Japanese Wisdom"
  • Details
  • 13:00 Opening Address
    • Satoshi Iue
    • Representative Director, Asia Pacific Forum, Awaji Conference Japan
    • Welcome Tribute
    • Tomio Saito Vive Governor of Hyogo Prefecture
  • 13:30 Commemorative Lectures
    • Dr. Barry Bosworth
    • Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
    • Theme: "Trans-Pacific Re-Balancing After the Crisis"
    • Dr. Chalongphob Sussangkarn
    • Former Thai Minster of Finance
    • Theme: "Economic Crises and East Asian Financial Cooperation"
  • 15:10 Break
  • 15:25 Commemorative Lectures
    • Hideki Yoshihara
    • Professor, Nanzan University Graduate School
    • Theme: "The Economic Crisis and Action Assignments of Japanese Enterprises"
    • Yasuyuki Nambu
    • Group CEO and President, Pasona Inc.
    • Theme: "Development of Human Resources for Local Activation"
    • Coordinator: Shigeyuki Abe
    • Professor, Doshisha University
  • 17:05 Closing

The International Symposium was opened by Mr. Satoshi Iue (Representative Director of the Asia Pacific Forum, Awaji Conference Japan), who delivered an opening address, followed with a message of greetings by Vice Governor of Hyogo Prefecture Tomio Saito. Then Dr. Barry Bosworth (Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution), Dr. Chalongphob Sussangkarn (former Finance Minister of Thailand), and Professor Hideki Yoshihara, Graduate School of Business Administration, Nanzan University, Mr. Yasuyuki Nambu (Pasona Inc, Group CEO and President), each gave a commemorative lecture. After the lectures, a question-and-answer session was held with the participation of the audience under the coordination of Professor Shigeyuki Abe, Faculty of Policy Studies, Doshisha University.

Dr. Barry Bosworth (Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution) talked on the “Trans-Pacific Re-Balancing After the Crisis”. He analyzed the factors of the economic crisis, and said that the biggest factor of the present economic crisis was the creation of a speculative market for subprime loan borrowers as a result of the excessive credit relaxation. He thinks that the high saving surplus of Asia as FRB points out is one of the factors and that both the United States and Asia should be responsible for the crisis. He also said that the family budgets in the United States deteriorated, consumption is not expected to increase in the future, and the economic recovery of the United States may take a long time. It seems that the competition in the global market will be intensified, and some countries may reinforce their protectionism if the United States reconstructs its economy with an increase in exports, other countries will not be able to rely on the United States as an engine for the economic growth of the countries causing fierce competitions in the world market. Hereafter the trade imbalance between East Asia and the United States (i.e., the regions across the Pacific Ocean) will be a problem, and adjustments to the flow of trade and the international trade balance will be a big action assignment of the world while neither the United States nor Asia should turn to protectionism.

Dr. Chalongphob Sussangkarn (former Finance Minister of Thailand and Distinguished Fellow at the Thailand Development Research Institute) talked on economic crises and finance cooperation in East Asia. He said that the lesson from the economic crisis in East Asia from 1997 to 1998 could be summarized with PPP (three P's), i.e., right Paradigm, Prudent, and Pragmatic. He thinks that it is necessary to watch the movements of capital based on the right paradigm, that a prudent attitude is important because there will be a great risk in the case of excessive investment and expenditure, and that it is essential to have a pragmatic prescription of policies. He also said we should not indiscreetly follow the IMF, in particular. Based on what Thailand experienced, he explained that the world is in a state of flux and we should not be stereotyped. He also explained the reinforcement flow of economic relations supported by the ASEAN+6, which consists of the ASEAN+3 (Japan, China, and Korea) added with Australia, New Zealand, and India. He referred to the Chiang Mai initiatives (CMI) as well. Although it took time because the interest of the countries in the CMI faded while the inducement of export started with a foreign reserve increase, the Finance Minister of each country reached an agreement on the multiplication of the Chiang Mai Initiatives (CMIM) to pool foreign currency reserves in one place. He said that the establishment of an organization or structure to adjust the mechanism of the CMIM is the most important. He concluded that the adjustment organization or structure should be entirely different from the IMF so that fund procurement will be possible within East Asia while promoting the cooperation and unification of the East Asian economies in preparation for financial crisis in future.

Professor Hideki Yoshihara, Graduate School of Business Administration, Nanzan University, talked on economic crises and action assignments of Japanese companies. He said that the performance of Japanese companies is not good from an international viewpoint and their growth rates, market shares, and profit rates are low. He explained that we are facing the crisis now and survival measures should be taken in a short term for the securing of funds and the reduction of inventory, expenditure, and workforce. As for mid- and long-term measures, he said that importance should be focused on human capitalism promoting the appointment of women in Japan and maintaining overseas workplaces where local employees play important roles, arrangements for module management challenging the Japanese way of production, the development of products to satisfy the markets of rising nations, and decent domestic and overseas management. He stated that shrinkage of the global market and domestic demand-led growth are concurrent presently, which, however, does not apply to multinational corporations and that Japan is a country characterized by richness, safety, regulations, seniority, aging, and population decline. On the other hand, overseas countries are characterized by growth, competition, freedom, change, the survival of the fittest, speed, and creative destruction. He added that Japanese multinational corporations that can play an active part on the stage of the world have great chances of growth and development overseas, and concluded that the international management of the corporations is recommended.

Mr. Yasuyuki Nambu (Pasona Inc, Group CEO and President) talked on the promotion of an open-door policy welcoming new human resources for local revitalization. He said that the Pasona Challenge Farm in Awaji opened in October last year in order to promote a human resource inflow from urban areas. He explained that people activate local areas and that the Farm is focusing on welcoming human resources to realize a rich society not by economy but by social life. He introduced his ideas, such as the special agricultural, educational, and medical zones on Awaji Island. He stated that Pasona opened an underground farm in Tokyo's Otemachi five years ago and it has been a success and that Pasona is thinking of transplant the system to Awaji Island. He also stated that if the people of Awaji open-heartedly welcome human resources, the areas will be human resource opening zones regardless of whether Pasona's application for the special zones are accepted or turned down and that he would like to promote the activation of the areas with human resource development as much as he can. Approximately 200 participants from a total of seven countries including the Philippine Ambassador and the Argentine Ambassador to Japan attended the ceremony and earnestly listened to the lectures.

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