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Top > Publications > NDL Newsletter > Back Numbers 2012 > No. 182, April 2012

National Diet Library Newsletter

No. 182, April 2012

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International Policy Seminar "Global Economy and Growth
Strategy of Japan: Policy Implications after the Earthquake"

The Research and Legislative Reference Bureau of the National Diet Library (NDL) has been staging International Policy Seminars to provide an opportunity to exchange opinions and discuss issues with foreign experts. The seminars are organized in the framework of interdisciplinary research, which is conducted by a project team consisting of staff members across the research divisions under a specific theme for one year or two. The interdisciplinary research project for FY2011 is “Regeneration of Japan through Technology and Culture.”

On January 26 and 27, 2012, the International Policy Seminar “Global economy and growth strategy of Japan: Policy implications after the earthquake” took place in the Tokyo Main Library. Dr. Richard E. Baldwin, professor of the Graduate Institute in Geneva, was invited as the keynote speaker. His area of expertise includes international trade, globalization, regionalism and European integration. He delivered speeches for the Diet (Japanese parliament) members and their secretaries on the first day and for a general audience on the second day under the same title “Making 21st century regionalism work for Japan.” This article outlines his keynote speech and the panel discussion held on the second day.

Dr. Baldwin started his talk by introducing two phases of economic globalization: the first unbundling (1850-1890) brought by steam revolution and the second unbundling (1985-now) by information and communication technology (ICT) revolution. The second unbundling transformed international commerce and industrialization, and gave rise to 21st century trade based on a “trade-investment-service nexus.” He then emphasized that the simple, traditional WTO trade rules are no longer enough for this extremely complex 21st century trade and it needs more complex disciplines underpinning the trade-investment-service nexus. In the final part of the speech, the current global economic situation was mentioned – including the US movement into the game with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and China’s embarkation on its own network of FTAs – and some ideas were presented on how Japan might adapt its regionalism strategies to the changed realities.

Dr. Baldwin speaking
Keynote speech by Dr. Baldwin on January 27, 2012 at the Tokyo Main Library

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A panel discussion among Dr. Baldwin and three Japanese experts followed the keynote speech, in which Dr. Yasuyuki Todo i, NDL’s visiting researcher for this interdisciplinary research project, served as the moderator.

Each Japanese panelist first made a short presentation offering a future prospect for Japan from their viewpoint: Prof. Yorizumi Watanabe ii talked about several free trade and economic partnership agreements in the Asia-Pacific region and concluded with what the TPP means to Japan; Mr. Toshiyuki Hattori iii remarked on Japan’s challenges and opportunities in the global water business and stressed the importance of domestic Public Private Partnership to make companies globally competitive; Mr. Hirofumi Yamaguchi iv focused on national land strategies after the Great East Japan Earthquake and suggested some growth strategies embracing disaster recovery and protection measures for the future.

Subsequent to those presentations, the panel dealt with some issues covering questions from the floor, which zeroed in on Japan’s participation in TPP talks. The topics included inclusiveness of TPP rules; Japanese negotiation power; TPP in agriculture, infrastructure export and construction business.

Japanese panelists looking at Dr. Baldwin making a comment
Panel discussion
(from left: Dr. Todo, Dr. Baldwin, Prof. Watanabe, Mr. Hattori, Mr. Yamaguchi)

The event attracted about 200 people and ended on a high note.

  1. Dr. Yasuyuki Todo: Professor, Department of International Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Science, University of Tokyo
  2. Prof. Yorizumi Watanabe: Professor, Faculty of Policy Management, Keio University
  3. Mr. Toshiyuki Hattori: President, Env Biz Tech Inc.
  4. Mr. Hirofumi Yamaguchi: Senior Specialist, Interdisciplinary Research Service, National Diet Library

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