Japanese-German Forum

17th Meeting
November 25–26, 2008

17th German-Japan ForumThe 17th Japanese-German Forum was held in Berlin on November 25–26, 2008. The meeting was co-chaired on the German side by Bernhard Scheuble, chairman of the Foundation Council of the Japanese-German Center, and co-chaired on the Japanese side by Yuzaburo Mogi, chairman and CEO of Kikkoman Corporation.

The thirty-five participants in the forum gathered to discuss political and economic trends within Japan and Germany and opportunities for closer cooperation between the two countries. The global financial crisis and the common challenges faced by Germany and Japan in approaching economic reform was an issue discussed in depth at the forum. In addition, there was a session devoted specifically to energy availability and cost, a topic critical for each country in terms of both domestic economic performance and global environmental ramifications.

The participants also discussed trends in East Asian and European regional integration as well as political issues such as potential reform to the democratic process in both Japan and Germany and the upcoming elections in the US. On the afternoon of November 25th, a courtesy call was paid on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, where both co-chairmen reported on the issues covered during the two-day forum.


Tuesday, November 25

Session I: Common challenges for Japan and Germany: The Financial Crisis and Unstable Political Conditions

Japanese Speakers:

• Keikichi HONDA, Chairman, BIAC (Business & Industrial Advisory Committee to the OECD), KEIDANREN)

German Speaker:

• Hilmar KOPPER, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank
• Mathias NASS, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, DIE ZEIT

Session II: Prospects for Greater Regional Integration in East Asia and Europe and their Consequences for Inter-Regional Cooperation

Japanese Speaker:

•Hitoshi TANAKA, Senior Fellow, Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE); Former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs

German Speaker:

• Eckart von KLAEDEN, Member of German Parliament (CDU/CSU)

Wednesday, November 26

Session III: Energy Availability and Cost: Impact on Climate Change,
Economic Performance, Food Scarcity, and other Major
Global Issues

Japanese Speaker:

Taizo YAKUSHIJI, Member, Council for Science & Technology Policy, Cabinet Office  

German Speaker:

• Rolf HEMPELMANN, Member of German Parliament (SPD)

Session IV: Democracy in Crisis: The Quest for Effective Systems of Governance

Japanese Speaker:

• Amb. Koji WATANABE, Senior Fellow, Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE); former Japanese Ambassador to Russia

German Speaker:

• Dietmar BARTSCH, Member of German Parliamemt (Die Linke)