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Round Table Japan 2011

On the weekend of September 9-10, an unique symposium, "Round Table Japan 2011" was held in the Ark Hills Club complex. The Round Table Japan aims at "thinking the future of Japan in the global context."

The Round Table Japan has been conducted annually for the last several years chiefly organized by Ms.Yu Serizawa of Forma Corporation and Mr.Claude Smadja of Smadja and Smardja Corp. This symposium is unique and excellent in the sense that good and most suitable people(speakers) are collected from various fields of professions, and frank, candid and deep discussions are carried out by the participants. The Round Table this year was particularly excellent in these respects. It was highly informative and learning.

The Round Table started with the opening session where the main issue was the realities of Japan's "new normal", an expression originated by Mr.Mohamed A. El-Erian, CEO of Pimco corporation a few years ago. Japan, which once known as rapidly growing, viable and highly equitable country, is now stagnant, unintegrated country suffering from deflation for more than two decades. Particularly after the historic disaster, where Japan is heading for is the question many people are concerned.

On the second day, a rich and extensive program of sessions is convened. In the early morning, session was held on the topic of "putting Japan's outlook for the next three years in the global economic context," which was followed by a keynote speech by Mr.Stephen Roach, " Pitfalls in a Post-Crisis World," a well organized speech to put many issues in a systematic perspective.This was followed by a session," Scenarios for an economic recovery: Japan's outlook for the next three years."

Later in the morning, two sub-sessions are given side by side: one is on " How can Japan manage the reconstruction effort to achieve increased competitiveness and avoid the dept trap. I spoke at this session as a panelist. And the other is on "Rethinking Japan's energy future, navigating between short-term urgencies and long-term priorities.

The lunch session was featured by presentations of Mr.Motohisa Furukawa, who became a minister in charge of economy, fiscal policy and science and even space development policies. He is a young and very potent politician, and other Diet members.

In the afternoon, a plenary brainstorming session was given on "Japan's equity markets and the corporate sector: the same revitalization challenges." a brainstorming discussion,"Japan as a more global-minded country," and a panel discussion,"Tell me who O should remain in Japan: Re-creating a propitious environment for business," which was followed by a closing session,"Some thoughts as a guide for a national rethinking of Japan's future."

Topics and agenda are well planned and organized. Speakers and panelists are well chosen who have professional knowledge and experience on the topical area they participate. Listening and participating to the entire discussions, one could gain a good perspective of myriads of issues and useful insights for the future. I would like to congratulate for the organizers and participants, and hope that this excellent format of round table conference will be continued in the future.

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