International Dialogue

Summary of Dialogues

The Fourth U.S.-Japan Dialogue Convened "Entrepreneurship in Asia"

The Global Forum of Japan (GFJ) and the Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs (MCPA), with the support of the Toshiba International Foundation, co-organized the Fourth U.S.-Japan Dialogue on the theme of "Entrepreneurship in Asia" on April 15-16, 2003 in Tokyo. After a welcome dinner on the evening of April 15th co-hosted by GFJ Chairman Okawara Yoshio and MCPA Deputy Director Paige Cottingham-Streater, a lively full-day discussion on the 16th amongst the 81 participants from the U.S. and Asia ensued.

Asia-Pacific Perspectives on Entrepreneurship
Session I of the 16th was chaired by Prof. Ito Kenichi, Governor and Executive Director of GFJ, with the theme "Asia-Pacific Perspectives on Entrepreneurship" being deliberated. Ms. Chua Bee-Leng, Associate Professor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, began proceedings with her keynote speech in which she stated that, "There are two types of business start-ups: one type of the situation, business start-ups is based on necessity coming from the urgent situation, and the other type is the business start-ups based on the opportunity for accomplishing one's dream. The Hong-Kong government's fund given to the venture companies is the second highest to that of the US. government." Then, the second keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Liu Yinqi, Professor at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Dr. Liu states that "Since Deng Xiaoping's 'South Touring Talk' in 1992, entrepreneur activities in the private sector have played an important role as the engine for the economic growth. In the future, in order to further activate the entrepreneurship, consolidation of legal system, especially the amendment to the constitution in order to protect the private income and property is needed." The third keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Jung Ku-Hyun, Professor at Graduate School of Business Administration, Yonsei University. Dr. Jung stated that "In Korea, entrepreneurship has grown by Asian Currency Crisis and intervention by International Monetary Fund. In addition to the system that would give incentive to the new venture companies, the government should also actively play the role of building the safety net."

In response to the keynote speeches, commentators put forward their opinions for and/or against the keynote speeches. "The trick of the success of the entrepreneur activities is to become completely fixated on one field or one thing. Investment in the Research & Development, securing the excellent human resources, and high motivation of the employees are important," said Mr. Wada Takashi, Senior Executive Officer, General Manager, Corporate Planning, at Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. "Multiplier effect from both the entrepreneurs and the people who aim for spill over effect from their business start-ups are important. The importance of entrepreneurial education for youth, as well as college students, can not be ignored," said Dr. Doris Freedman, Policy Director, National Commission on Entrepreneurship.

Towards New Creative Entreprenuership
In Session II, Mr. Weston Konishi, Program Associate, MCPA, assumed the role of Chairman with "Towards New Creative Enterpreneurship" being the topic for debate. The keynote speeches were given by Dr. Yonekura Seiichiro, Professor at Hitotsubashi University, who stated that, "Entrepreneurship is a dynamic capability of the innovation, and it is important not only for business but for politics, NPOs, NGOs, education, military, and hospitals," and Dr. Eric Pages, President at EntreWorks Consulting, who stated that, "The policy for growing small and medium enterprises should shift from the promoting-development-model to growing entrepreneurship-model."

In response to the keynote speeches, commentators put forward their opinions for and/or against the keynote speeches. "In Entrepreneurship, we should focus our attention on the fundamentals, such as the conditions that ecosystem and market would function well, rather than only focusing on growing IT industry and business start-ups," said Dr. Kieth Krulak, International Economist, the Office of International Banking and Securities Markets, the U.S. Department of Treasury. "Although failure in business start-ups are forgiven in the countries except Japan, it is difficult to come back after the failure in Japan. Without changing this climate of not forgiving any failure, entrepreneurs in Japan would not grow up," said Mr. Suzuoki Takabumi, a Columnist, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun. "Not only deregulation but support is needed for the venture companies. However, there is no such understanding in Japan. Business start-ups in Asia are different from those in Europe, since the rule of law and system are not established," said Cong. Suzuki Kan, a Member of the House of Councilors.