Japan is dependent in large part on the Middle East for its oil, natural gas and other energy resources. This dependence makes peace and stability in the Middle East, which faces a wide range of destabilizing factors, a very vital issue to Japan. Serving as a lifeline for Japan, the Middle East is a focus for the Japanese government and private individuals when it comes to exchanges on energy resources and the business sector. There are still calls, however, to develop broader, more multifaceted ties with the region, and the Sasakawa Middle East Islam Fund (SMEIF) believes that it is important to respond, not only by supporting joint initiatives by government and private entities to facilitate connections between Japan and Middle Eastern countries, but also by promoting stability and continuous development in the Middle East through an approach that is unique to Japan.
Established as part of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, the SMEIF aims to contribute actively as a private foundation to establishing peace in the Middle East and to present the face of Japan in this region by hosting activities at the individual level. The SMEIF works to reach these goals through projects that promote exchange between Japan and the Middle East.
The SMEIF aims to further broaden and deepen political, economic, social and cultural exchanges and understanding between Japan and the Middle East. The new Program starting in 2015 has a component of facilitating the exchange of knowledge and policies and building an intellectual platform. This aims to understand the profound changes that have been taking place in the region since 2010. The Middle Eastern policies of the Western countries have also been constantly changing, and this fact requires that the SMEIF to embrace a global perspective and work toward contributing to the analysis of relations between the Middle East and international society.
Facilitating the exchange of knowledge and policies, and building an intellectual platform
The SMEIF will promote the exchange of knowledge covering the fields of politics, economy, society, history and cultures with the aim of contributing to Middle East’s multi-dimensional co-existence and co-prosperity with international society. Efforts will be made to contribute to the development of an intellectual foundation, essential for the comparison, analysis and application of miscellaneous issues within the Middle East and between the Middle East and the rest of the world. To this end, the following activities and projects are given priority in conducting exchange activities:
- Promoting exchange and mutual understanding with opinion leaders in the fields of politics, economy, society and diplomacy
- Organizing research exchange in miscellaneous fields that contribute to deeper understanding and policy development of the Middle East, under a collaborative framework with Japanese and overseas think tanks and academic institutes
- Developing and fostering young experts and regional researchers in the fields of Middle Eastern politics, economy, diplomacy and society based on international collaborative framework and mechanism
- Tapping into the outcome of the abovementioned initiatives to contribute to the development of a platform consisting of sustainable Middle East studies, human resource network and information communication
Commitment to sustainable development
The SMEIF will work toward contributing to the promotion of mutual understanding in social and cultural themes within and outside the Middle East in a multi-faceted and composite approach through history, arts, etc. To this end, the following activities and projects are given priority in conducting exchange activities:
- Engaging in collaboration, exchange and educational activities with cultural leaders and relevant cultural organizations
- Promoting exchange with young leaders and academics
Contribution to regional stability
The SMEIF will support seminars, publication, etc. concerning the fields of politics, economy, society, diplomacy and security with emphasis on Middle East’s regional situations and public policies between the Middle East and international society.
- Seminars, etc. aimed at communicating suggestions and information concerning policies
- Seminars, etc. concerning current affairs
- Reporting and communicating the outcome of activities and projects concerning this program’s academic exchange and the development of the intellectual platform
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation Bldg.
1-15-16 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8524
1 minute walk from Exit 4 of Toranomon Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line).
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