On April 16th and 17th, 2012 the German Marshall Fund and the Tokyo Foundation co-hosted the inaugural Trilateral Forum Tokyo. The Forum convened over 50 participants from Japan, Europe, and the United States for a series of informal and frank off-the-record discussions. The agenda covered a wide range of important issues including the future of democratic governance, disaster relief cooperation, the energy debate post-Fukushima, security dynamics, global financial instability, the Eurocrisis, and reviving global growth.
After the final session on the 17th, Forum participants were given the opportunity to join representatives from both the German Marshall Fund and the Tokyo Foundation on a two day study tour of the tsunami stricken area of Tohoku. Highlights included a presentation from Tono city mayor Toshiaki Honda, whose city acted as a hub for disaster relief personnel and humanitarian aid in the immediate aftermath of the 3/11 disaster, a conversation with Hatakeyama, an oyster fisherman in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, who, along with his father Shigeatsu, is leading an effort to restore the local fishing industry which was decimated by the tsunami, and finally a stop and brief discussion in Fukushima before returning to Tokyo.
Trilateral Forum Tokyo was established with the explicit purpose of bringing together policymakers, intellectuals, journalists, and business people from Japan, Europe, and the United States for systematic dialogue on topics of mutual interest and concern. The Forum also aims to build networks, increase dialogue, and facilitate cooperation and communication among participants.
Listen to GMF Podcasts from Trilateral Forum Tokyo 2012:
In this podcast, GMF Transatlantic Fellow Joshua Walker, interviews Ambassador Ishii, Director of the Public Planning Staff for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Japan. Ambassador Ishii discusses the advantages of the U.S. pivot toward Asia, North Korea’s failed rocket launch, the effect of the Iran crisis on Japan’s energy needs, and talks about enhancing Japan’s relationship with it’s Asian neighbors, as well as with the EU.
In this podcast, GMF Senior Transatlantic Fellow Bruce Stokes interviews Pawel Swieboda, President of demosEUROPA in Warsaw, Poland, about how the European debt crisis will change EU-Asia relations. Mr. Swieboda outlines how economic troubles between the two regions will put the EU-China relationship on a level playing field, since China will have to consider the EU’s concerns on improved market access.
In this podcast, GMF Senior Transatlantic Fellow Bruce Stokes interviews Ken Endo, a Professor at Hokkaido University School of Law in Japan, about the impact of the euro-debt crisis on Asia. Professor Endo shares his view on banking regulation changes and how Japan should take a role in shaping future regulations for the global financial sector.