UK-Japan Global Seminar 2017 “Anglo-Japanese Cooperation in an Era of Growing Nationalism and Weakening Globalization”

London, United Kingdom

It is wonderful to be back in London to join you all at this UK-Japan Global Seminar again.

It was about two weeks ago that Prime Minister May on the occasion of her visit to Japan met and held talks with Prime Minister Abe and reaffirmed the strong partnership between Japan and the United Kingdom and of its strategic importance on a global scale. This is the partnership that I would like to see develop further beyond the governmental level.

Now, as you are all aware, this UK-Japan Global Seminar series began as a form of new private sector partnership to discuss global issues. It is founded on the long history of Anglo-Japanese relations and exchange in many fields. It began in 2013 and this year marks our fifth and last session.

Today, the UK-Japan Global Seminar has evolved into an important forum for policy experts, researchers, and leaders to come together to share their knowledge and experience.

During the past five years, we have witnessed a transformation in global state of affairs. Some of these changes are more volatile than others and are making the world a more complex place. Many areas of the world are experiencing an increasingly unstable security situation, serious challenges to the democratic system, an escalating division between globalization and protectionism, and changing economic conditions as a result of reshaping in the overall political structure as seen in the case of Brexit.

In this seminar series, we have focused on those international conditions that present a stalemate or appear unpredictable. In our discussions, we have analyzed these issues in many of their aspects. We have also attempted to find solutions and new ways of cooperation that will effectively respond to these volatile changes.

This annual seminar has provided us with a valuable opportunity not only to examine timely issues of global interest and concern but also to assess the challenges of this transformational age.

Summaries of our discussions have been compiled in a report each year and are made accessible to the public. In addition, next year, a collection of articles that critically analyze these issues will be published. These reports and this publication, I am sure, will contribute to deepening understanding and finding new and effective solutions.

Over the past five years, a total of about 100 experts and researchers have participated in this seminar. All of whom are renowned experts in their respective fields. I believe that they have found this seminar to be a stimulating exchange, and I hope that these discussions have deepened our pool of knowledge and will serve as a basis for further dialogue in the future.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all the experts and researchers for your research work, valuable insights, and the knowledge that you are sharing with us today.

Let me thank Dr. Niblett, Director of Chatham House and his team for making this Global Seminar such a success. I also would like to thank my colleagues and friends at The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation for your help and assistance.