Japan imports the majority of its energy resources from Middle Eastern Islamic countries, and in turn exports various Japanese goods to the region. In this way, exchange between Japan and the Middle East is thriving in the private business sector, in areas such as oil, automobiles, construction, and banking. However, much less exchange takes place between Diet members, public officials, media, NGOs and educators, with the result that little is being done to expand mutual understanding between the two countries.
At present, the countries that have the most political, economic, and cultural influence in the Middle Eastern Islamic region – as well as connections with Japan – are Iran, Turkey, Egypt and the Arab States of the Gulf. Therefore, conducting human resources exchanges with these countries would appear to be an effective strategy to advance mutual understanding with the region as a whole. Based on this reasoning, the objective of this project is to expand the base of Japan experts and pro-Japanese groups in the Middle East by inviting young and mid-career individuals from various circles in the Middle East to Japan in order that they can interact with Japanese specialists and practitioners from a variety of fields.
Invitation of mid-career group (6 people)
Persons with political or diplomatic influence from the Middle East will be invited to Japan to meet with experts from various fields; Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (Nov. 2 people); Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research in Turkey (Dec. 2 people); and Institute for Political and International Studies in Iran (Jan. 2011, 2 people).
Invitation of young group (40 people)
Forty young individuals from the Middle East will be invited to Japan to interact with Japanese counterparts of similar ages.
- Invitation to Japan for young persons from the UAE (Nov. 10 persons)
Consignee: Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Ten outstanding high school students majoring in science (including a supervisor) from the UAE with potential as future leaders will be invited to Japan. The group will interact with students at universities and high schools, and attend seminars on Japan.
- Invitation of students from the Middle East (Nov. 5 people)
Consignee: Japan Middle East Student Conference
Japanese students will meet with university and graduate school students in the Middle East and select suitable candidates for invitation to Japan. Those invited will visit Japanese universities and research institutions to further their understanding of Japan.
- Cooperation with the project to celebrate 125 years of friendly relations between Japan and Turkey (August)
Consignee: Japan Turkey Friendship Association
Domestic travel costs within Japan will be covered for Japanese students and Turkish students visiting Japan in order that they can participate in the Japan-Turkey friendship events being held at the Museum of Maritime Science and elsewhere.
This project places strategic importance on the countries of Iran, Turkey, and the Gulf states, with the objective of inviting influential, mid-career politicians, officials, journalists, and representatives of NGOs to Japan to interact with Japanese specialists in a variety of fields. As regards invitations to the young generation, in August 2010, the Fund covered the cost of domestic travel for a group of visitors from Turkey and their Japanese counterparts, totaling 22 people, in support of a project marking the 120th anniversary of friendly relations between Japan and Turkey. In November 2010, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University was commissioned to invite six high school science majors and three teachers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to visit Japan. Also, students from the Middle East, two from Syria and two from Jordan, were invited to Japan. These students were selected from a pool of university and graduate school students after interviews given by the Japanese students who had visited the respective countries.
Invitations To Date
Invitation of mid-career group/lecture
- February 17, 2011
- Secularism in Turkey: Prime Minister Erdogˇ an’s Political Prospects
Professor Dr. Talip Kucukcan, SETA Director/Senior Researcher
Mr. Taha Ozhan, SETA/Director, General Coordinator
Invitation of Young People
- August 18–20, 2010
- Exchange Between Japanese and Turkish Youth: The Friendship Association
between Japan and Turkey (NPO)
Support for 22 interaction participants from Turkey and the town of
Kushimoto in Wakayama Prefecture.
- November 1–14, 2010
- Invitations from UAE: Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU)
Six students, three instructors invited from the Abu Dhabi and Al Ain campuses
of the Institute of Applied Technology (IAT) in the UAE.
November 20–December 1, 2010
Invitation of students from the Middle East: Japan Middle East Student
A total of four students invited, two each from Syria and Jordan.
Lecture by the Turkey’s Political, Economics and Social Research Foundation (SETA) specialist