JFIR was founded in 1987, then still in the midst of the Cold War, on the initiative of a group of independent citizens from various circles of Japan who foresaw the end of the Cold War as well as dawn of a new era and recognized a need of a policy-oriented think tank to discuss earnestly the future course and roles of Japan in the international society and to make proactively policy recommendations. Since then, aiming to elucidate frontier issues of the times and foster public opinion, JFIR has issued 37 sets of policy recommendations, organized international symposia in and outside of Japan, and conducted a number of research projects. It is undoubtedly by sheer dint of the unsparing contribution not only of late Dr. OKITA Saburo, the first Chairman, and late Mr. HATTORI Ichiro, the first President, but also those of Mr. IMAI Takashi, the second Chairman, Prof. ITO Kenichi, the second President and present Chairman, as well as that of the members of JFIR, that it has been able to demonstrate the accomplishments of these activities and gain high reputation from within and without Japan. Succeeding these traditions and accomplishments, I recognize that it is my foremost responsibility as President to contribute proactively to the development of JFIR.
To date, the international society has moved from the U.S-led world of uni-polarity spawned by the end of the Cold War, to that of multi-polarity, and then to the current stage of the world of non-polarity. Indeed, the international society is witnessing phenomena that severely shake the existing international order, such as a relative retreat of the U.S. as the “police of the world,” a series of game-changing moves of such rising powers as Russia and China, such provocative actions of North Korea as nuclear missile development and experiments, frequent occurrence of global terrorism across the globe, and the surge of populism in the advanced democracies of the West. However, the world is yet to find a clear vision of its direction. I am convinced that the role of JFIR has ever more increased with its mission since the foundation to analyze keenly the fluctuating international trends, “discuss earnestly the future course and roles of Japan in the international society and proactively make policy recommendations.”
Commemorating the 30th anniversary of JFIR this year, we wish to continue to enhance our activities with strong will and motivation to contribute to the promotion of peace and prosperity of the world and Japan. As part of our activities, we will make further efforts to reach out more effectively to public opinion in and outside Japan by utilizing information media including our website. Before closing my remarks, let me hope that you will continue to provide us with your support and cooperation.