Perspectives on a New Era Symposium held at APU

On Saturday, November 21, 2009, APU has successfully organized the “Perspectives on a New Era-Japan, America and China” Symposium. This symposium was held at the Millennium Hall in commemorating the APU 10thAnniversary and Confucius Institute 3rd Anniversary.

The symposium invited Asahi Shimbun Editor-in-Chief and APU Visiting Professor, Funabashi Yoichi; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ORIX Corporation and APU Academic Advisory Committee Member, Miyauchi Yoshihiko; Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to China, Anami Koreshige; Dean of Faculty of Law, Keio University and Former President of the Japan Association of International Relations, Professor Kokubun Ryosei; and Founding President of APU and Professor of Ritsumeikan University, Sakamoto Kazuichi.

APU President Monte Cassim and Former Prime Minister of Japan and Confucius Institute Advisor Mr. Murayama Tomiichi opened the symposium by giving a few words in the opening remarks. The symposium was also attended by Former Governor of Oita Prefecture, Hiramatsu Morihiko.

The first session of the symposium began with keynote speech from Professor Funabashi. In his lecture, he mentioned future of the world lies in the Asia Pacific. America will continue to play an important role in the Asia. Nevertheless, we can see the rise of China and Japan as a sign that Asia is now ready to serve as the co-driver in global society. Therefore, he argued that cooperation will be essential in the future.

The second part of the symposium continued with panel discussions with Professor Funabashi, Mr. Miyauchi, Professor Kokubun and Ambassador Anami. The discussion was moderated by Profesor Sakamoto and dealt with three important international issues: world economic order, environmental and energy problems and the Korean peninsula. Most of the discussion time, however, was dedicated for international political economic order, particularly about the rise of China and its impacts to global economy, especially in post-crisis world.

Finally, the symposium was ended by question and answer session to the whole audience, which is not consisted by APU students only but Beppu citizens as well. The whole event was conducted in Japanese and simultaneous English interpretation was provided during the symposium.

Generally speaking, APU has been quite successful in organizing this program. Nonetheless, there were some complaints regarding the symposium from the students and audience. The most disturbing problem probably was the quality of English interpretation. Poor translation sometimes could change the meaning or content of the lecture. Moreover, the time provided for the panel discussion was inadequate. Not all of the topics assigned for the panel session were fully discussed. But after all, APU has proven its capacity as an international university by hosting this kind of event. In order to improve its role as an academic institution and contribute to society, we hope we can see more academic seminars and symposiums at APU, especially after ten years of its establishment.

Iqra Anugrah, APS ‘11

Published in The APU Times, 24 December 2009