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UK-Japan 21st Century Group

29th Meeting
May 23–26, 2012

The 29th annual meeting of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group convened in Tokyo on May 23–26, 2012. Fifty senior Japanese and British leaders attended the meeting, where they engaged in a series of roundtable discussions on issues such as the domestic and regional developments in each country, changing security and economic environment in East Asia, fiscal and financial challenges and the global economy, international development cooperation, prospects for UK-Japan collaboration on defense and and nuclear/energy issues, and other opportunities for UK-Japan cooperation.

The UK delegation had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who expressed his commitment to closer cooperation with the UK as set out in the Joint Statement released during Prime Minister David Cameron’s April 2012 visit to Japan. Later that night, the participants joined a reception hosted by Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba. Following the forum, a joint statement was issued detailing the findings and recommendations of the participants.

Agenda

Wednesday, May 23

Meeting with Mr Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan

Reception hosted by Mr Koichiro Gemba, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Thursday, May 24

Meeting with Mr Yasuchika Hasegawa, Chairman, Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai); President, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., Tokyo (UK Participants Only)

Lunch hosted by British Ambassador Sir David Warren  

Session I: Latest Developments in Japan – emphasis on respective domestic political situation and economic prospects

  • Seiji Maehara, Member of the House of Representatives (DPJ)
  • Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Member of the House of Representatives (LDP)

Session II: Latest Developments in the UK – emphasis on respective domestic political situation and economic prospects

  • Margot James, Member of Parliament (Conservative Party)
  • Sir David Wright, Vice Chairman, Barclays plc.

Dialogue: Nuclear/Energy Issues and Opportunities for UK-Japan Cooperation

  • Taizo Yakushiji, Research Counselor, Institute for International Policy Studies (Interviewer)
  • Naoki Tanaka, President, Center for International Public Policy Studies (Respondent)
  • Samir Brikho, Chief Executive, AMEC plc. (Respondent)

Friday, May 25

Session 3: Changing Security and Economic Environment in East Asia – emphasis on rise of China, “pivot” by the US and Japanese strategic response

  • Hitoshi Tanaka, Senior Fellow, Japan Center for International Exchange; Chairman of the Institute for International Strategy (IIS), Japan Research Institute, Ltd
  • David Pilling, Asia Editor, The Financial Times

Session 4: Fiscal and Financial Challenges and the Global Economy – emphasis on the financial crisis in Europe and future of the Europe

  • Dr Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs)
  • Akinari Horii, Special Advisor and Member of the Board of Directors, The Canon Institute for Global Studies

Saturday, May 26

Session 5: International Development Cooperation: Prospects for UK-Japan Cooperation

  • Akihiko Tanaka, President, Japan International Cooperation Agency
  • Dr Alison Evans, Director, Overseas Development Institute

Session 6: Prospect for UK-Japan Defence Collaboration 

  • Hideo Suzuki, Director-General for Acquisition Reform, Ministry of Defense
  • Richard Thornley, President, Rolls-Royce Japan Co Ltd

Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Lord McConnell, House of Lords
  • Yoshiji Nogami, President, The Japan Institute of International Affairs