"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Reform of the United States-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON)

[Date] April 27, 2007
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affaires of Japan
[Full text]

On April 27, at their summit talks, the two leaders of Japan and the United States agreed to strengthen intellectual interchange between the two countries and welcomed the progress made in discussions for the reform of the United States-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON), an advisory committee between Japan and the U.S.

The reform outlined below was recommended, as the result of the discussion among CULCON panelists including representatives of the Japanese and the U.S. Governments, in order to enable the CULCON to take a lead in promoting exchanges in line with the realities of Japan-U.S. relations in the 21st century.

1. CULCON will identify issues in cultural, educational and intellectual interchange between Japan and the U.S., articulate the vision in this field, specify problems with which governmental organizations should be involved, and promote cooperation between the government and private sectors, with a view to producing tangible results.

2. To this end, CULCON will issue a report every four years, specifying priority challenges to be tackled, together with a strategic vision, and every two years will review how these challenges are being met. The report will be submitted to the Minister for Foreign Affairs/the Secretary of State, and the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology/the Secretary of Education, and then will be reported to both leaders. CULCON will target presenting its first report at its joint conference in 2008.

3. CULCON will facilitate effective implementation of programs and measures to tackle the tasks and challenges outlined in the report. Such efforts require the cooperation of business communities and relevant non-profit organizations with the assistance of the Japanese and the U.S. CULCON secretariats. Following fields have been pointed out as example of areas for consideration:

(1) To foster next-generation leaders who have profound understanding of each other's countries.

(2) To promote cooperation and interchange between intellectual organizations (universities and think tanks) in Japan and the U.S.

(3) To promote the US-Japan exchange at the local level and assist the deepening of its exchange levels.

(4) Coordination with CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) activities and other educational and cultural exchange programs.