"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] Message by Taro Aso on the Fulbright/CULCON Joint Symposium "Japan & US Soft Power: Addressing Global Challenges"

[Place] Tokyo
[Date] June 12, 2009
[Source] The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

Prime Minister Taro Aso had sent a message regarding the Japan-U.S. Educational Commission (Fulbright Japan) and Japan-US Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON) Joint Symposium held on June 12 (Fri) at the Keidanren Kaikan, which was read by Mr. Masahiko Shibayama, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs on behalf of the Prime Minister. The full text is as follows.

"The 'Japan & US Soft Power: Addressing Global Challenges' Symposium is being held in Tokyo today. This symposium is the first of such scale to be held jointly by Fulbright Japan and the Japan-US Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange, which was founded in 1961 based on an agreement between President John F. Kennedy and Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda and has a long history. I am delighted that such a varied group of Japanese and American partners are cooperating to contribute to intellectual exchange.

Japan and the United States are partners sharing common values and interests, and are working together to respond to the various challenges facing the international community. When I met with President Barack Obama in late February in Washington, DC, we agreed to further strengthen the U.S.-Japan Alliance. We also pledged to make cooperative efforts to deal with new global issues facing the United States, Japan, the Asia-Pacific Region, and the international community, such as global economic and finance, climate change, and energy.

Today's symposium discusses how Japan and the United States can make use of their soft power in order to deal with the aforementioned challenges. I hope that the discussions held at this symposium will result in significant, meaningful proposals from all of the representatives from various fields in both Japan and the United States."