International Dialogue

Summary of Dialogues

Japan-Korea Dialogue Convened
"Future Prospect of an East Asian Community and Japan-Korea Relationship"

The Global Forum of Japan (GFJ) and the Presidential Committee on North East Asian Cooperation Initiative of ROK, with the cooperation of the Council on East Asian Community (CEAC) of Japan, co-sponsored the "Japan-Korea Dialogue" on the theme of "Future Prospect of an East Asian Community and Japan-Korea Relationship" on April 27-28, 2005 in Tokyo. Also, this "Japan-Korea Dialogue" was financially supported by the Tokyo Club and the Japan-Korea Cultural Foundation. It was held as one of the events which constituted the "Japan-Korea Friendship Year" and was attended by 96 people from various circles in Japan.

An East Asian Community and Japan-Korea Cooperatio
Session I on April 28 was chaired by Amb.Prof. KAI Noritake, Governor of GFJ, with the theme of "East Asian Community Building and the Japan-Korea Relationship." Mr. MOON Chung-in, Chairman of the Presidential Committee on North East A Cooperation Initiative, began proceedings with his keynote speech. He stated, "Korea aims at building a bridge between continental powers and oceanic powers. Four principles are applied: namely, 1) simultaneous approach, 2) multi-layered cooperation, 3) open regionalism and 4) community building. Japan-Korea cooperation to share market economy and democracy is also important." After that, Prof. OKONOGI Masao, Keio University, made his keynote speech. He stated, "The Japan-Korea relationship must shift from 'system friction' to 'system sharing.' However, the history issues remain to be a major obstacle to these efforts. We should aim at forming a new 'community consciousness' by separating the Takeshima issue from the history issues."

In response to the keynote speeches, commentators put forward their opinions. "It is important for Japan and Korea to settle the history issues first," said Mr. LEE Hwa-young, Member of the Korea's National Assembly. "The gap between Japan and Korea in their perception of China and North Korea could decisively endanger the future of the Japan-Korea relationship," said Mr. SAITO Tsutomu, editorial writer of The Sankei Shimbun.

Political and Security Cooperation in East Asia
CHUNG Ku-Chong, CEO, Donga. com, presided at Session II on the topic of "Political and Security Cooperation in East Asia." Prof. INOGUCHI Takashi, Chuo University, provided the first keynote speech saying, "If we compare the strategies of Japan and Korea, Japan is seeking the way to be a 'normal state,' whereas Korea is pressing against hegemonic moves of Japan and China and at the same time pursuing to re-unite the Korean Peninsula. These strategic trends will affect peace, stability and prosperity in Northeast Asia including both countries." As the second keynote speaker, Prof. YUN Duk-min, Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, stated that, "East Asia is confronted with the three tasks of globalization, transparency and democratization. It is necessary to build a community through Japan-Korea cooperation in order to achieve these tasks."

Also, commentators put forward their views for and/or against the keynote speeches. "Japan and Korea need deepen their understanding of each other by paying more attention to emerging nationalism in both countries," said Mr. NAKAGAWA Masaharu, Member of the House of Representatives of Japan. "The United States cannot lead the world by itself any longer and it is necessary to build an East Asian community," commented Mr. KWON Byong-hyun, former Korean Ambassador to China.

Economic Interdependence and Prospect for Cooperation
Session III was chaired by Prof. KAWAI Masahiro, the University of Tokyo. The theme was "Economic Interdependence and Prospect for Cooperation." The first keynote speech was delivered by Prof. AHN Choon-yong, Chung Ang University, who stated, "East Asia should be more community-like rather than a mere association of growing economies. Economic cooperation is sure to decrease the risk of military conflicts." As the second keynote speaker, Prof. FUKAGAWA Yukiko, the University of Tokyo, said, "Korea is equipped with both 1) legal and institutional infrastructure which Japan has and 2) flexibility to adapt to changing technology and market which China has. Korea can play the role of a bridge between Japan and China."

In response to the keynote speeches, commentators put forward their opinions. "It will be far easier for Japan and South Korea to solve economic problems than political, historical, and territorial issues. Solution of the economic problems can bring about a resolution of the latter problems," said Mr. CHOI Woo Sock, Executive Advisor, Samsung Electronics. "There are considerable differences among Japan, China and Korea in terms of their systems. It would be preferable to build a community including ASEAN," commented Mr. MIZOGUCHI Michio, Standing Advisor, Kajima Corporation, Inc.

Preceding those three Sessions on April 28 introduced above, a Special Session which was not scheduled originally was hastily organized on April 27. The topic was "The Recent Japan-Korea Relations" and was attended by the panelists of the "Japan-Korea Dialogue." The purpose of the Special Session was to allow the panelists to have a frank exchange of views among themselves before the three Sessions originally planned regarding the most sensitive issue between the two nations at the time immediately following the eruption of "anti-Japan" sentiments in Korea over the Takeshima issue. The exchanges were conducted behind closed doors and off the record but were evaluated to be "very useful" by all those who attended.
After that on the evening of the same day, Welcome Dinner was hosted by H.E.Mr. TANIGAWA Shuzen, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs.