UK-Japan Global Seminar 2016 “Challenge and Uncertainty in a Volatile World: Japan-UK response”

Tokyo, Japan

In 2013, The Nippon Foundation, together with Chatham House and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, began holding the UK-Japan Global Seminar Series. At the past three seminars, leading policy experts, researchers and journalists exchanged views on a number of shared concerns, ranging from strategic partnership, national security, and economic problems to energy, the environment, and the future of capitalist democracy. Through discussion and dialogue at these seminars, we have been exploring ways to work together to address critical global issues.

Ladies and Gentlemen. As we begin our fourth seminar of the series, we are seeing an enormous change take place in Britain. I am referring to the referendum in June in which British voters chose to withdraw from the European Union. This will be one of the topics of this seminar where we will examine its effect on the relations between Great Britain and the European Union and in turn, how it will also affect Japan and Asia. I look forward to a lively discussion among the distinguished experts who are present today.

The overall theme of the conference is “Challenge and Uncertainty in a Volatile World: Japan-UK Responses.” Change is taking place at an ever faster pace, and this is leading to growing uncertainty. But if we change our way of looking at things, this present uncertainty can become a good opportunity to build a new relationship of cooperation.

Britain and Japan share common values such as rule of law, democracy, and the principles of a market economy. On the other hand, our history and culture are different, which means we are able to view global issues from different perspectives. And together, this is what enables us to take a more comprehensive approach to the pressing issues of our world.

The goal of this seminar series is to propose cooperative frameworks that will allow Britain and Japan to effectively address the challenges now faced by the world.

I look forward to proposals that will point the way to a new cooperative relationship between Britain and Japan.