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UK-Japan 21st Century Group

27th Meeting
October 21–24, 2010

The 27th annual meeting of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group took place on October 21–24, 2010. Bringing 34 leaders from the two countries together for sessions in Tokyo and in Karuizawa, Japan, the forum included meetings on a range of domestic and global concerns where deeper UK-Japan relations can play a critical role. The first session took place in Tokyo, where participants learned from Japanese experts about the latest domestic developments as well as wider East Asian relations. The rise of China, the relative decline in US power in the region, recent shifts in Japan’s political landscape, and relations with North Korea were four trends identified as important challenges for the region.

Before leaving Tokyo, the UK delegation met with Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who welcomed the delegation and expressed his full support for the work of the 21st Century Group. The forum resumed in Karuizawa, where the participants heard about the latest trends in UK and European politics, such as a stabilized yet still uncertain eurozone as well as the recent emergence of a coalition government in the UK.

They also discussed the UK-Japan relationship within the context of wider international challenges. They spoke about the continuing uncertainty of the global economic environment, with participants from both countries emphasizing the importance of taking action against global imbalances, and also about transnational security threats, such as nuclear proliferation, international terrorism, and the war in Afghanistan. The participants also discussed China's future international role. The sessions concluded with a broad look at the prospects for deepening UK-Japan relations in a number of areas, including the need for bilateral cooperation in addressing climate change and potential avenues for increased trade and investment and further economic integration between the two countries.

After the forum, a joint statement on the group’s findings and recommendations was released by the Japanese and UK chairmen.

Agenda

Thursday, October 21

Session I: Latest Developments in Japan and East Asia

  • Hitoshi Tanaka, Senior Fellow, Japan Center for International Exchange; Chairman of the Institute for International Strategy (IIS), Japan Research Institute, Ltd.

Dinner hosted by Seiji Maehara, Minister for Foreign Affairs

 

Friday, October 22

UK delegation meeting with Prime Minister Naoto Kan

Lunch hosted by British Ambassador David Warren

Saturday, October 23

Session II: Latest Developments in UK and Europe

  • Philip Stephens, Associate Editor, Financial Times

 

Session III: Fiscal and Financial Challenges and the Global Economy

  • Naoki Tanaka, President, Center for International Public Policy Studies
  • Mark Taylor, Dean, Warwick Business School

 

Session IV: Current Challenges of Security and Other Global Issues

  • Sir John Boyd, Chairman of Asia House
  • Masashi Nishihara, President, Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS)

 

Sunday, October 24

Session V: Prospects for UK-Japan Bilateral Relations and Progress in Developing Bilateral Collaboration

  • Shinji Fukukawa, Chairman, TEPIA, The Machine Industry Memorial Foundation
  • Lord Woolmer, House of Lords