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National Forum Series: Japan in the 21st Century


Kansas City, Colorado Springs and Denver Series

  Program Dates: April 21 - 23, 2009

Locations: Kansas City, Colorado Springs and Denver

Speakers: Minister Hideo Fukushima, Dr. Edward Lincoln, Dr. William Farrel

Collaborating Organizations: Heart of America Japan-America Society, Japan-America Society of Southern Colorado, Japan America Society of Colorado, Johnson County Community College, The Colorado College, Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP & Embassy of Japan

  THEMES: Today, Asia holds half the world's population, one-third of the global economy and, potentially, the economic and financial strength of the international system. In the eyes of many, Asia is key to a stable, prosperous world. The U.S.- Japan bilateral alliance has been East Asia's security structure, benefiting Japan, the United States, and the region. However, what worked in the past may not serve us well in the future. Current economic crises and potential security threats loom large.

The speakers addressed various aspects of the current situation as follows:

Japan: A Shocking Downturn by Edward Lincoln, Director, Center for Japan-U.S. Business and Economic Studies, NYU

A year ago, many in Japan thought that the impact of the financial problems in the United States would have only a minor impact on Japan--leading, at worst, to a mild, short recession. But Japan is now being badly hurt, with the blow being delivered through a shockingly large drop in exports. Lincoln's presentation focused on how this happened and how bad it might be and how the government and private sectors were coping.

Japan: A Key Ally in the Pacific by William Farrell, Chairman, National Association of Japan America Societies

With all the focus on economic downturns and financial crises, people frequently forget the importance of major security issues confronting Japan and the US. The rise of China, economically and militarily, nuclear issues with North Korea, controversial territorial disputes are just a few of the key issues that need to be addressed. Further, the current political environment in Japan causes many to wonder about national leadership at a time of crisis.

Japan: A Crucial Partner on Global Issues by Hideo Fukushima, Minister of Public Affairs

President Obama and his administration are taking a positive role in addressing critical global issues, such as climate change/energy and development of the third world, including Afghanistan/Pakistan. In this regard, Japan is a natural partner, which has accumulated experience and comparative advantage in certain key areas. Japan can work together with the US to lead other nations in advancing international agenda.

Kansas City:
Date - April 21, 2009
Venue - Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS
Attendance - 40

Colorado Springs:
Date - April 22, 2009
Venue - Bemis Hall, The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO
Attendance - 75

Date - April 23, 2009
Venue - Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons LLP, Denver, CO
Attendance - 35

NAJAS would like to recognize the direct support for this National Forum Series I from the Japanese Embassy and Toyota. Without the partnership, this speaker series would not have been possible.

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