President’s Message

Atsushi Sunami:President of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
On June 24, 2020, I had the privilege of being appointed president of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) by the Board of Trustees and the Board of Councilors. Feeling the weight of responsibility that comes with this position, I wish to offer my inaugural message as president.
 
I would like to begin by recognizing the dedicated work of my predecessors, former SPF Chairman Nobuo Tanaka and former SPF President Shuichi Ohno, who implemented numerous reforms, including establishing the foundation’s five priority goals, overhauling SPF’s program structure, and integrating project funds to ensure efficient asset management. I am incredibly proud of the work done by SPF’s dedicated staff, who strive to make significant contributions to resolving challenges facing our global society.
 
Today, faced with the spread of COVID-19, the international community has been tasked with reassessing the world order and uncovering a new framework for international cooperation. In this context, the United States and China continue to engage in strategic competition across a range of fields, raising concerns for the potential impact on other countries. At the same time, while regions such as Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific Islands acknowledge the need to secure a stable relationship with China, which has an ever-increasing level of influence, cases of religious radicalization and intensifying inter-racial conflict are also growing, with these developments increasing pressure on civil society and threatening democracies around the world.
 
In the face of these challenges, Japan is increasingly called upon to exercise leadership and work toward establishing regional stability and prosperity. SPF, a global foundation with far-reaching networks, has a duty to promote international partnerships by collaborating with the United States and countries in Asia to play an ever-increasing role in resolving global issues, including regional security.
 
Turning to ocean issues, the “Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC),” released at the 51st session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in September 2019, points to a phenomenon that suggests marine ecosystems may already be past the point of no return. The world’s oceans and the planet itself are facing an unprecedented crisis, with some warning that the actions we choose today will determine the future for generations to come. SPF’s Ocean Policy Research Institute (OPRI) is receiving requests to collaborate with organizations from all around the world, underscoring the high expectations for OPRI as an international think-tank working on ocean issues.
 
The project plan for the foundation in FY 2020 has been drawn up from a long-term perspective, based on unconstrained ideas grounded in the pursuit of SPF’s five priority goals. We are determined to run SPF in a way that deploys high-impact and “agile-at-scale” projects, capable of swiftly adapting to the aforementioned changes in our society.
 
We remain dedicated to ensuring that SPF operates in a way that recognizes the challenges facing society, prioritizes collaboration with international partners, and pursues innovation at every turn. Your continued support for SPF in these endeavors is sincerely appreciated.
 

June 2020
Atsushi Sunami
President of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation
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