Japan Forum on International 20th Anniversary Memorial Dinner

March 12, 2007
at the International House of Japan

On March 12, 2007, the Japan Forum on International Relations received 120 corporate members, individual members and guests at the International House of Japan for the 'Japan Forum on International Relations 20th Anniversary Memorial Dinner.'

On this day, Chairman IMAI Takashi opened the proceedings by saying, "Japan is a global player, and it is not possible for citizens to pass over all responsibility for international relations to the government." Next, ASO Taro, Minister for Foreign Affairs, gave a lecture, in which he said, "we need to develop an 'Arc of Freedom and Prosperity' on the rim of the Eurasian continent, within which Japan should consider what it can do through dialogue with each country in order to broaden the horizons of Japanese diplomacy. In our diplomacy in the future, I will be making sure that both private and government sectors will proceed hand in hand with each other."

Mr. ASO Taro, Foreign Minister
Mr. ASO Taro, Foreign Minister

After Minister's speech, there was a toast by MIZUKAMI Kenya, Chairman, the Yomiuri Shimbun Group, followed by dinner. Afterwards, there continued congratulatory addresses by KAKIZAWA Koji, former Foreign Minister; TAKUBO Tadae, Professor at Kyorin University; Graham FRY, British Ambassador to Japan; OKAZAKI Hisahiko, diplomatic critic; Glen FUKUSHIMA, President of Airbus Japan; OGASAWARA Toshiaki, President of the Japan Times; SATO Yukio, President of the Japan Institute of International Affairs; FUNADA Hajime, former Director of the Economic Planning Agency; and UTADA Katsuhiro, Special Advisor to the Ajinomoto; YAMANAKA Akiko, member of the House of Representatives; HATA Kei, Vice President of Sakushin Gakuin; among others. KOIKE Yuriko, National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, revealed a secret story that she once worked for the Office of ITO Kenichi to handle the phone calls more than 20 years ago, while the dinner proceeded congenially into the evening.

At the end, ITO Kenichi, President of the Japan Forum on International Relations, thanked everybody who attended the dinner and he said, "Japan-China relations, Japan-U.S. relations, and other bilateral relations are important, but they should be preceded first by a comprehensive approach to inquire what kind of regional order to build in East Asia, and second by what kind of world order in the world." President ITO concluded, “the considerations of what to do about Japan-China relations and the Japan-U.S. alliance are a component of this framework."

Mr. ASO Taro, Foreign Minister
ITO Kenichi, President of JFIR

Speech by Mr. ASO Taro, Minister for Foreign Affairs