On the role The Genron NPO should play in resolving Japan's challenges / Yoriko Kawaguchi

January 01, 2014

Yoriko KawaguchiYoriko Kawaguchi
Visiting Professor of Meiji University &
Former Foreign and Environment Minister

Moving forward to the visions of Japan

I would like to see in the coming new year Japan redraw its mid- and long-term visions for the future, build national consensus about basic principles and move forward step by step to achieve them. During 2013, Japan clarified some of its agenda. It confirmed its intention to continue the 70-year-long pacifist efforts, and protect its territory and people, as well as human rights and laws. It will also promote economic growth and technological innovation, and contribute to the peace and development not only of Japan but also of the world. It is important now to deliver these visions to neighboring nations and to the world.

The international situation in East Asia is likely to grow more uncertain during 2014 in contrast to the region's bright economic prospects. One important factor is the ambiguous stance of China, making us wonder what kind of country it plans to become in the mid and long term, and what kind of governance of the international community China is prepared to maintain. Even more unpredictable is how North Korea plans to engage with the rest of the world.

We also have to constantly check if Japan is properly delivering our message and if our partners correctly understand our intentions. We have to ask ourselves how they would understand and develop empathy. We have to be aware that our message will be delivered not only to whom it is addressed but to the international community. It will decide if our message has any universal value worth its empathy. I hope The Genron NPO will continue to expand communication, and promote the endeavors of the government and other sectors of Japan.