The Trilateral Commission
The Trilateral Commission, founded in 1973, is a nongovernmental forum of leading private citizens from Europe, North America, and Japan that aims to promote mutual understanding and closer cooperation on common problems facing these three major democratic, industrialized regions of the world. The members of the Trilateral Commission include about 350 distinguished leaders in business, media, academia, public service (excluding current national Cabinet Ministers), labor unions, and other non-governmental organizations from the three regions.
The Commission, which operates through three regional secretariats, coordinates task forces on a variety of pressing issues in international affairs and meets in regional groups as well as in an annual three-day plenary to discuss these studies and to share perspectives on common political, economic, and foreign policy challenges. The task force reports are published as a series called The Triangle Papers. Also, a report on the annual meeting is published each year as part of the Trialogue series. The annual meeting of Trilateral Commission members rotates among the three regions. JCIE has served as the Japanese Secretariat since the Commission was established and became the Asia Pacific Secretariat in 2000, when the Commission expanded its membership beyond Japan to other Asian countries, including a number of the ASEAN countries, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea. The first regional conference took place in Seoul, Korea in 2000, and has been held annually since then at venues around the region.