No.0004

2014/03/29

"Japan - U.S. Economic Forum" for pursuing all available possibilities to transform the world

"Economy," a subject to be watched as the world' s economic superpowers

Free trade has deepened economic ties between many countries in various forms, bringing growth-induced benefits including the advancement of financial systems and emergence of BoP (Bottom of the Pyramid) markets. However, with individual persons and enterprises incorporated into the market and financial systems, we have begun to see a number of issues that national governments or international organizations cannot address.
Under the given circumstances, Japan and the United States, even though they are two of the world' s largest economic superpowers, have not adopted a strategic initiative for private-sector bilateral dialogs concerning economic policies.
This is why, in FY2014, the SPF believed that providing a venue for exploring solutions was very significant, and thus decided to launch the Japan ? U.S. Economic Forum, inviting experts well versed in economics and economic policies from the two countries.

Kicking off the Forum with a lecture by Dr. Adam Posen

The SPF has so far supported a multitude of activities between Japan and the United States, but this is the first project exclusively focusing on economy. Just as academic debate takes place at an academic society, and just as policy debate happens at the government, this forum gathers the best economic minds from Japan and the United States to facilitate personal-level debates on economic situations, mechanisms and policies that have never been covered before.
 With Dr. Motoshige Ito (Professor at the University of Tokyo' s Graduate School of Economics, a member of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy) serving as the chairman on the Japanese side, the Forum plans to meet twice a year in Japan and Washington D.C., participated by members including a former member of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers.
As the first event, the Forum met in Tokyo on February 24 for a lecture session by Dr. Adam Posen, a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England (BoE) and current President of the Peterson Institute for International Economics based in Washington. Some 100 people gathered to hear the lecture by the President of the famous Peterson Institute, attracting extensive media coverage.

Great sense of fulfillment from the positive message on the Abenomics

The session provided us with an opportunity to hear an American view of Abenomics, as presented on the SPF website. It was overseas assessment of the policy package, conveyed directly, free of bias from the Japanese media.
In summary, Dr. Posen points out that the goal of Abenomics is for Japan to build an economically strong foundation, and use it to play a powerful role in making active contributions to building a future order in Asia. While there are problems to be dealt with, namely women's workforce participation, agricultural reform, reform of the two-tier labor market and deregulation for increasing competition, Dr. Posen said the "three arrows" policies are moving Japan in the right direction and should be pursued further with a sense of confidence. The positive tone of the message marked a great start for the inaugural event, giving acknowledgement for the major achievements Japan has made.

Unprecedented initiative for transforming the world

The first session for FY2014 is planned for June with a focus on Abenomics, development assistance, social disparity and issues that Japan faces including structural reforms, financial reforms and TPP. This initiative is certain to make unprecedented achievements through mid-term exchange of opinions from as open of a stance as possible while facilitating the development of people-to-people relations at the same time.
This forum for debate, built on the foundation of people-to-people exchange, relates to the Japan ? U.S. legislative exchange program launched at the same time. We have high expectations on how the first candid dialogs, made possible with the personal-level human connections, will impact Japan ? U.S. ties and the rest of the world.
Being a newly-launched initiative, this project is transcending existing frameworks to take on fresh challenges. Expectations are running high on how it will transform the world in the future.

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