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2011年03月30日

Manila Report: We Can Take It

“We Can Take It” (for SGRA Kawaraban #286)
Max Maquito

Dear Family

Thank you for all your phone and internet mails from Manila, Toronto, and
Alberta.

I was accompanying the educators of the University of the Philippines, who were touring the town in the vicinity of Nagoya Station, when the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake hit. To calm down the surprised educators, we stood at the exit of the building, with me reassuring them that “Japan could take this much of shaking”. After the initial tremor had passed, we continued our tour of the area as if nothing happened. The educators have been walking around a lot since the previous day, so we returned to the hotel relatively early. Before getting on the subway, I got a call in my mobile phone from Professor Hitoshi Hirakawa, who is a SGRA adviser, and we confirmed each other’s safety. Taking lightly the professor’s words “It appears to be quite bad”, we returned to the hotel. It was when I turned on the TV that I first came to realize the severity of the situation. Through my mobile phone mail, I immediately transmitted our safety to my and the visiting educators’ families. Together with educators in the University of the Philippines, I received quite a number of messages saying that they were virtually down on their knees praying for Japan as well as the Philippines, which is also an archipelago.

The day after the big quake, in Nagoya University the workshop on the theme “Towards a Sustainable Shared Growth in Industrial Asia” was held as scheduled after a brief moment of silence on Professor Hirakawa’s request. While being concerned about Japan, the speakers earnestly made their presentations. Around that time, news came about Fukushima Nuclear Reactor No. 1 exploding, which prompted talk about the nuclear power plant that was being built many years ago in the Philippines, but was stopped by resistance from civil society. The next day, getting guidance from Professor Hirakawa, I brought the educators to the Chubu International Airport and saw them up to immigration. The airport was surprisingly peaceful. While mulling over the next week’s classes, I then headed right away to Tokyo on the Tokaido Shinkansen, which was by then running again.

Checking closely the news, I came to understand that a great tragedy has just visited Japan, that magnitude 7 aftershocks have a 70% probability of occurring in the next few days, and that scheduled brownouts will be implemented. On the Monday (13th) after the earthquake, I checked the email announcements of the university, which was still in the midst of Spring semester, for any announcements on class suspension. Having found none, I immediately sent emails to all of my students that they do not have to go to the university for my classes on Tuesday (14th). Several hours later, I found out that the university had suspended all classes, and had made arrangements for a flight for Hong Kong and a bus for Kansai for faculty, students, and others. Since then resumption of classes has been repeatedly postponed. At this point, resumption of classes has been tentatively decided to be on April 4th. Since the weekend after the earthquake, you, my family, have been imploring me to go home. In order to somewhat allay your fears, I have been sending out, through my mobile phone, information that I have picked up from Fuji TV, which has been most prompt in organizing the information, and other sources.

The behemoth finally awoke from its deep sleep where it has been building up its strength for more than half a century. With a growl that could be heard as far away as another island nation, the Philippines, 3000 kilometers away, the behemoth rose from the sea floor off Tohoku. Indiscriminately and in a wide area, it wielded its might. The people bravely put up a fight. With sirens filling the air, the warning “It has attacked! Everyone, quickly get out!” continued until the behemoth reached the shore. The young girl issuing the warning together with the town officials and firemen stationed at the fort’s walls, which was designed to keep out the behemoth and protect the town, lost their lives in the fight. Having been bought some time, the people who were able to make it to high ground held their breath as they watched the behemoth being held back at the fort’s walls. “It’s taking it! It’s taking it!” but this soon changed to screams of “It’s over the wall! It’s over the wall!”

The behemoth left after leveling down the town. At times we could still hear its growl from far away. The behemoth’s poison remains in the island nation, and even now is causing damage. Holding each others hands, everyone is earnestly exerting efforts to suck out the poison.

There’s going to be a lot of hardship in the interim, but I would like to repeat that Japan could take this much of damage. Recovery is inevitable, but I think that we have been given a very good opportunity to think about what form this recovery would take. Shall we return to the lost decades Japan, whom I have found very disappointing? Shall we return to Post-WWII Japan, whom I have come to love?

After the war, about 90% of Japan’s manufacturing capacity was destroyed, causing a severe lack of goods. After the dropping of the atomic bombs, about 250,000 people (including those from radiation) died in the first four months. Japan was remarkably able to achieve recovery to such an extent that it came to be called an “East Asian Miracle”. Moreover, from the burning fields of the war was born several visions, which have caught the imagination of a large number of global citizens, including myself: the Peace Constitution, the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, and my research theme of Shared Growth, among others.

This time around, the attack on Japan’s mainland was not from the armies of foreign lands, but from Japan’s ancient foe, the behemoth. From the scars of war would hopefully emerge, among others, a new Peace Constitution, a new Three Non-Nuclear Principles, and a new Shared Growth. A new Peace Constitution which strengthens the Self Defense Forces and the private sector’s abilities to protect the lives and properties of citizens of Japan and other Asian countries which are also weak against earthquake and tsunami. A new Three Non-Nuclear Principles which makes a fundamental review of the nuclear energy program. A new Shared Growth which also considers the genuine division of labor in East Asia and the promotion of a safe and secure ecological system. I am filled with excitement by simply imagining these alternatives.

It is not clear which recovery path Japan will eventually take, but I would like to put my stakes on the strong determination and wisdom of the Japanese people not to waste this tragedy.

Please continue to support me as I shuttle between Tokyo and Manila for my research about Japan.

2011年10月12日

Manila Report, Summer 2011

Manila Report (Summer 2011) SGRA Kawaraban Essay #311
Max Maquito

The main menu for my last Manila visit was the conference held at the University of the Philippines School of Labor and Industrial Relations (UP SOLAIR) on the 24th and 25th of August. As I have announced in previous Manila Reports, our group, consisting of Professor Hitoshi Hirakawa (SGRA advisor) of Nagoya University, Professor Bich Ha of the Foreign Trade University in Hanoi, and Dr. Than Than from Myanmar, presented two papers.

The Keynote Address was delivered by the Vice President of UP, Professor Amante, who was in Japan for further studies at about the same time as I was. After finishing his studies (Keio University), he went back home to UP, taught in a Korean University for a while, and became one of the former Deans of UP SOLAIR. In his Keynote Address, he stressed that since its inception in the 1950s, SOLAIR was a prestigious educational and research institution in Southeast Asia in the field of labor and industrial relations, and suggested the issue of maintaining that status. Faced with the reality of the Philippines being overtaken by other ASEAN countries, he encouraged continued learning from Japan, mutual constructive criticism and new ideas in the School, and efforts towards kaizen (continued improvement).

Although it has been quite a while since I last met Professor Amante, he kindly re-directed a question from the floor to me in the audience, perhaps remembering that my field was in development economics. The question was actually closer to international finance, and was about the establishing of an Asian currency in view of the current world crisis. My reply went more or less this way.

East Asia’s degree of intra-regional trade has become bigger than that of NAFTA, and
is expanding to catch up with that of EU. Such economic integration was achieved
without any formal institution such as the Euro. The cause, I think, lies in the
international division of labor in East Asia pursued by Japanese-affiliated firms such
as Toyota. As Mr. Sobrevega of Toyota Motors Philippines (also the President of the
PIRS) just pointed out, when dealing with Toyota-related enterprises in other ASEAN
countries, it is necessary to strike an exquisite balance between standardization and
respect for diversity. ASEAN has relatively done well up to now perhaps because of
the principle of non-intervention. The Philippines has been considered as a showcase
of democracy in Asia—something that is worth being proud of, but not exaggerating.
We should bear in mind that, in ASEAN countries like Vietnam and Myanmar, where
governments are strong, as Dean Sibal and Professor Amante have pointed out
earlier, could very well just overtake the Philippines, if we become too complacent. Of course, we should be very happy that our neighboring countries are developing, but this must not come at the expense of the Philippines: we must develop with them. Hence, what is important to the Philippines at this moment, I think, is to skillfully get on the international division of labor in the real sector, which is driving East Asian integration, rather than having a monetary institution such as a common currency.

On the encouragement of Professor Macaranas, Professor Hirakawa was kind enough to share his opinion. He pointed out that there was once an attempt to establish a common currency in East Asia, but this ended up failing due to the strong resistance of the US. He sees that the Chinese yuan right now could naturally become a common currency.

Professor Bich Ha of Vietnam also kindly shared her thoughts. Since she was more fluent in Nihongo, I translated into English. Her remark was roughly as follows.
There was a time that in Vietnam the development of the Philippines was considered
to be very impressive. As I visit the Philippines for the first time, despite the progress in infrastructure, I was surprised to see various problems such as slums, and that the standard of living of ordinary citizens is not that good. The main reason for Vietnam’s relatively good development is direct investment from abroad. It is hitting three birds with one stone. Due to foreign direct investments, employment, technology transfer and the formation of domestic small- and medium-scale enterprises become possible. Moreover, I think that the cooperative relationship between the government and labor unions in Vietnam could be a constructive point of dialogue between the Philippines and Vietnam. I hope to contribute to such a dialogue.

In the afternoon, Dr. Than Than of Myanmar, backed up by Professors Hirakawa and Bich Ha, presented in English the results of their research survey in Vietnam. Prior to her presentation, Dr. Than Than consulted me about some implications to the Philippines, which she kindly added at the end of her presentation. Apparently, in Vietnam, there is a tendency to suppress the outflow of migrant workers, which has actually contributed to the enhancement of the competitiveness of the country as workers are trained within the country. On the other hand, in the Philippines, sending workers abroad is a national strategy, and the country’s competitiveness has not significantly improved. How to keep Philippine workers in the country or to re-integrate OFWs are important policy issues.

The above are some examples of the active participation of our foreign (non-Filipino) guests in the conference. Learning from each other, I think, may be one way by which the road to cooperation among ASEAN countries could be further paved.

Unfortunately, I was in a separate session so I could not participate in their session. I had, however, a different agenda for my session: how to learn from Japan. There were three presenters, and I was first to go. I compared the labor contracts of US and Japanese enterprises, from the point of view of shared growth. I was followed by Mr. Sobrevega, who talked about Toyota Motor Philippines of the manufacturing sector. He was followed by one of the leaders of the labor union of Philippine Airlines of the services sector. In the open forum, I was happy to note that the participants (including the audience) applied, with no great difficulty, the shared growth principles I presented to the cases of Toyota and Philippine Airlines. Indeed, one of the objectives of my presentation was to raise the awareness that the Philippines could be a safe haven for the various shared growth institutions that could be learned from Japan, thus, ultimately contributing to the preservation of institutional diversity.

All four of us joined in the same sessions in the second day of the conference, where we had the invaluable opportunity to think about issues caused by poverty and social inequality, such as child prostitution, Japayuki, gender discrimination, migrant labor, and land reform. It was the first UP SOLAIR conference for the four of us. There is certainly room for kaizen, but I hope that the good presentations/discussions and the warm reception of the UP SOLAIR + SGRA family were able to compensate.

On the day following the closing of the conference, I passed by the hotel of the three guests at 7AM, picked up a collaborating professor at the UP College of Architecture at 7:30AM, and headed for Subic Free Port Zone on the expressway which Kajima Construction helped build (2.5 hours trip by car). Typhoon No. 11 had just hit landfall in the Philippines, and the weather was a bit rough. Nevertheless, we arrived right on time for our 10AM appointment at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) headquarters. We paid a courtesy call on SBMA Chairman Garcia with whom we were able to talk to until 11AM. This was followed by a briefing by his staff up to about 12 noon, at which time we discussed about how to proceed with Professor Hirakawa’s research project on the manufacturing sector. After lunch, we had a brief tour of the Freeport Zone for about an hour, and were back in Manila by 5PM.

During our talk with SBMA Chairman Garcia, I pointed out that, despite a very good start, the Freeport Zone recently seems to be advancing a bit more slowly. The Chairman cited some examples of firms leaving Subic to explain the somewhat sluggish situation. There apparently was, at the start, a plan to build a free trade corridor between Kaohsiung (Taiwan) and Subic, leading to the construction of a 300 hectare Taiwan Techno Park, but this stalled due to reactions from China. The international airport in Subic was also the Asian headquarters for FEDEX, which has since been transferred to China. A US firm operating in the container port built through a loan from Japan has since transferred to Mexico so as to be closer to its NAFTA market.

The common point of the above examples seems to be that the “half-baked” nature of Subic tends to make it lose its prize catches to bigger ships (areas of operation). However, the Chairman pointed out that it is precisely this feature that could be leveraged to develop Subic as a regional warehouse.

Because Subic is about 3 and half hours by plane away from the major East Asian cities, it is also in a strategic position in terms of sea routes. Another reason why it was chosen as naval bases by Spain and the US is its naturally deep port. (In fact, despite the proximity to typhoon no. 11, the waters in the port area were relatively calm). Finally, since Subic is in a Freeport Zone, it has a certain level of independence, legally and administratively, from the Philippine government so that the equation that Subic equals the Philippines may not really hold.

If we consider the above factors, Subic actually has the potential to drive the development of the Philippines. There is in fact a glimmer of hope amidst Subic’s current underutilization. Korea’s major shipping conglomerate, Hanjin, has built and is managing in Subic the fourth largest shipyard in the world. Moreover, it is planning to increase its area of operations by 200 hectares, and to start subcontracting the production of currently imported inputs to local
manufacturers. Although there is now a global recession, the ship building projects of Hanjin have not really slowed down. Hanjin is very aggressive in supporting Philippine development.

The Chairman is also hoping on support from Japan.

※Some photos of the conference could be found in PIRS FACEBOOK.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Philippine-Industrial-Relations-Society-PIRS-Inc/19646091
0379580
※I would like thank Professors Teodosio and Macaranas, my dad (Mac), and sister (Lenie) for taking care of our guests during their visit. I would also like to thank again Professor Hirakawa for inviting Professors Teodosio and Macaranas to Nagoya University last March, and Professor Bich Ha and Dr. Than Than to the UP SOLAIR conference.

2011年11月30日

Manila Report in Waseda

Manila Report in Waseda (SGRA Kawaraban Essay #317)
Max Maquito, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer, School of Labor and Industrial Relations (University of the Philippines)
Researcher, Sekiguchi Global Research Association (SGRA)

The 42nd SGRA Forum was held in collaboration with Kita Kyushu University on October 29, 2011 at Waseda University. I helped in the translations, and was in charge of the panel discussion at the end.

The main issue of this forum was about how to secure energy in order to support high economic growth while protecting the environment. In this connection, enhancing energy efficiency was a common point of discussion by the presenters. In enhancing energy efficiency, adjustment of the energy supply to meet demand becomes possible, while reducing the burden on the environment.

By the way, in the energy field, “3E”, a key term in the forum, seems to stand for
Energy Security, Economic Growth, and Environmental Protection. In my field of
development economics, I have used 3E to refer to Efficiency + Equity + Environment
(please refer to the Manila Report 2010 Spring).

Energy efficiency was such a common point of the discussions/presentations that I
prepared a slide compiling the energy efficiency of 120 countries (where energy
efficiency = GDP divided by the total energy consumption)—please see slide. Energy
efficiency seems to be on average not significantly different between low and high
income countries.

Mr. Kritsanawonghong of Thailand and Mr. Ireland of Australia presented an energy
conservation method which utilized a market-based mechanism for the environmental
evaluation of buildings and electric devices. The actual introduction of such a
mechanism led to increasing the environmental awareness of users, and improving
energy efficiency. However, even though it is market-centered, the government plays a big role in setting up and diffusing such a system.

Speaking of markets, the correct pricing of energy resources and electricity is important. Ms. Balbarona of the Philippines reported that the electricity rates of the Philippines have overtaken that of Japan as being the highest in Asia. She explained that the distributing company passes all of the cost to the user, and that the Philippine government, unlike neighboring countries, does not provide substantial subsidies for electricity rates. Owing to this, various energy conservation movements naturally take place, such as the project headed by Ms. Gilles, wherein energy conservation was achieved in a Manila building through the creative balancing of daily usage of electricity. Mr. Ireland added that the Australian government’s subsidy on coal has led to the excessive use of this resource.

Next, some methods were reported for improving energy efficiency, which emphasized the importance of a low-cost and low-income (the poor) perspectives. Ms. Paramita of Indonesia raised the concept of urban optimal density. There is the thinking that for the sake of improving energy efficiency various resources should be concentrated in the city, but there should also be the thinking that, once the urban optimal density has been exceeded, problems such as slums arise, wherein efficiency begins to actually go down. Mr. Faisal of Indonesia emphasized that his country is not an exemption, since it has been promoting a concentrated-type of urban development, but what is really needed in fact is “reversed urbanization”. Incidentally, in the first joint forum of SGRA and Kita Kyushu University last year, I referred to this as “ruralization”. The urban problem should not be considered as separate from the rural sector. In addition, Ms. De Asis of the Philippines shared stories of recycling projects in the field of architecture such as the use of containers and plastic bottles. In the Philippines, there are projects such as largescale wind farms (first in Southeast Asia) and environmentally friendly shopping malls, but these are very costly. It is doubtful whether such technologies are really appropriate for developing countries such as the Philippines. Architecture based on recycling seems to have started in the countryside. Mr. Ireland pointed out that the rural-urban gap is
also an important problem in developed countries such as Australia and Japan.

Another method that was mentioned for improving energy efficiency was the development of renewable energy. Unlike oil, coal, or uranium, renewable energy relies on unlimited energy resources; hence, the risk of resource costs going up is practically non-existent. In fact, as technologies progress, it is highly possible for costs to go down. The question as to whether renewable energy could replace nuclear energy in the medium- to long-term, was posed to Mr. Iyadurai of India and Ms. Balabarona of thePhilippines, who reported on renewable energies in their respective countries. The two countries also shared the same experience of forbidding the use of nuclear power plants that were being constructed. They shared the opinion that citizen sentiments against the use of nuclear power would continue to be strong. Mr. Kritsanawonghong added that the situation appears to be the same in Thailand. However, there were also participants in the forum who stated that nuclear power will not completely go away.

The above are some of the examples by which each Asian country grappled with the issue of improving energy efficiencies. Taking one step back, with the objective of promoting the consideration of an East Asian regional perspective, I shared with the forum participants a certain Japanese initiative. This initiative is particularly significant given that for the past few decades Japan has not come out with a compelling strategy for East Asia. I first came to learn about this initiative from a Fuji Television program called Prime News Live, where it was referred to as the “Asia-Pacific” Electricity Network” or “The Energy Version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)”. –please see slide
Behind this initiative was the unstable electricity supply situation caused by the Great East Japan earthquake of March 11th. This initiative was proposed by the Japan Creation Council (Nihon Sousei Kaigi), which was headed by Mr. Hiroya Masuda, former governor of Iwate Prefecture (one of the seriously stricken prefectures of March 11th). The issues being addressed by this initiative are the ensuring of energy security, the improvement of the international competitiveness of industries, and environmental sustainability. The ultimate objective is the establishment of a renewable energy state.

This initiative is very ambitious but I think it promotes a balanced integration of East Asia (together with Oceania). I am hoping that it could also be a policy for extricating Japan from its decades of debilitating despair. I refer to such an initiative as regional shared growth, which is a concept based on the Flying Geese Model of Development that I have learned from Japan. For many decades now, Japanese firms going overseas have tended to concentrate on selected countries. This is very disappointing since it actually runs opposite to the diversified-type of division of labor that Japan has earlier espoused. I have actually raised the alarm against such type of division of labor many years ago. No matter how many crises occur due to globalization or climate change, nobody seems intent on learning the lessons.

The current initiative strikes a beautiful image in my mind’s eye: the electricity network flies southward, jumping from one island to another, connecting the three East Asian archipelagoes of Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia, and merging with its sister ASEAN power grid from the western side.

At long last, an East Asian strategy has come out from Japan that is truly Japanese in spirit.

Notes:
1. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Professors Soichiro Kuroki and Weijun Gao for inviting to Kita Kyushu University’s exchange program three graduate students from the University of the Philippines (i.e., Stephanie Gilles, Juvy Balbarona, and Josefiina De Asis) on recommendation by Professors Edwin Quiros (Department of Mechanical Engineering, UP) and Mike Tomeldan (College of Architecture, UP)
2. I would also like to express my thanks to Professors Hidetoshi Nakagami and Hiroto Takaguchi for emphasizing the importance of an energy policy that puts weight on a long-term perspective and traditions.

2012年10月14日

Manila Report Summer 2012

Essay 353 English Translation: Manila Report Summer 2012 by Max Maquito, Ph.D.
(Nihongo version could be found here)

In my visit to Manila last August, I had interesting discussions with educators at the University of the Philippines (UP) regarding the two concepts of “Shared Growth” (SG) and “Inclusive Growth” (IG). In 1993, the World Bank came out with the “East Asian Miracle” report which used the word SG to summarize the economic performance of eight East Asian countries/economies [led by Japan], which were able to grow rapidly while improving their income distribution. As a graduate student then, I was attracted to this phenomenon, and at every chance I had continued to do my research on this concept. On the other hand, IG was adopted as one of the pillars of this region’s economic development strategy when Japan became the chair country for the APEC summit in 2010, and has become a buzz word in the field of economic development. It can be seen that Japan has played an important role in promoting both concepts.

At first glance, the two concepts appear to be the same, since both seek a growth which would eliminate economic disparities. Moreover, as somebody who has emphasized for many years now that Japan should put importance on its country’s peculiar features, I should be happy that a development strategy that seeks to balance efficiency and equity is once again being proclaimed. But, I seem not prone to be so. The Philippine government’s economic planning agency has even inscribed IG in its medium-term plan, and I have encouraged caution in the use of this term among UP educators. This is because that the two concepts have crucial, albeit subtle, different connotations.

The differences between the two concepts are as follows.

1. SG is an older term than IG, but the former still applies to the current situation. In short, the idea of equity + efficiency is not something that Japan has just recently became aware of.
2. The possibility of SG is based on Japan’s experience, which tends to differ from that suggested by mainstream economics. It was because of Japan’s aggressive lobbying on the World Bank that resulted in the “East Asian Miracle” report.
3. The economic strategy of SG is different from the market fundamentalism that is proposed by mainstream economics, since SG considers as important the role of [a more pro-active] government. On the other hand, IG leans towards market fundamentalism.

Based on the differences above, we can confirm that SG is a more powerful economic strategy than IG. When the SG strategy was published in the “East Asian Miracle” report, Japan was in a financially strong position and was, therefore, able to go against the mainstream. At that time, Japan was being told to “put up and shut up”, but instead it commendably took the position of “putting up [the money = Official Development Assistance] as well as not shutting up”. However, right now, Japan is not really in a good financial position, so it is very much possible that her independent proposals on economic development would be taken lightly. Could such a Japan, as in the past, be able to put forward an effective proposal?

I would like to answer “yes, she can!” Despite a weak financial position, the Japanese economy possesses the SG DNA, which I think she could emphasize when making development strategy proposals.

The SG strategy was coined in the 1993 World Bank report, but it was already being implemented several decades prior to the report. In short, SG was a concept that preceded IG by more than twenty years. I think that this tells us just how natural and important for Japan were the economic goals of efficiency + equity. It is in no way like IG, which seems to have recently popped up. The future of about three-fourths of the world’s population should not be treated as some kind of buzz word popularity contest.

The SG strategy is based on the Japan’s own experience. In economics, balancing efficiency and equity is very difficult, but Japan has showed that this is possible. On the other hand, IG has not been actually achieved, and remains an ideal or an aspiration. Some may say that IG is more appropriate to the present time, but this at best could only refer to the lost decades of Japan, where equity + efficiency were lost.

IG leans toward the market fundamentalism of mainstream economics, wherein the government plays the role of a referee. The government decides and implements the rules regarding the game (competition) in the market. In contrast, SG concedes the government’s selective intervention, wherein the government acts more like a coach. Together with the firms in the front line of competition, this government would mourn over loses, rejoice over victories, and burn with intensity over the contest. Such a government has actually contributed to improving the competitiveness of Japanese firms.

Looking back, it was such a picture of Japan that I was enamored to devote my life’s work. My activities in SGRA started with this plea for respecting such aspects of Japan’s identity. [SGRA’s] Manila Seminars are held under the philosophy of SG. The development concept/strategy of SG, which was cited in the “East Asian Miracle” report, requires further clarification, a task that I have been undertaking through SGRA’s activities.

Thankfully, plans are now underway to hold the 15th Manila Seminar on February 8, 2013 at UP, under the theme “Manufacturing as if People and Mother Nature Mattered”. In this seminar, we will be reporting the results of the survey research of Professor Hitoshi Hirakawa of Nagoya University on “Symbiotic Regional Institution Building Towards a Knowledge-Based Economy in Asia”. Together with Prof. Hirakawa, I had a chance to pay a courtesy call on Dean Sale of the School of Labor and Industrial Relations of UP, who was very encouraging in his active support of the SG concept.

Now more than ever, Japan has to be forthright in speaking of the good aspects of her identity. Wavering at this point is not very “CooL Japan” [a movement in Japan to emphasize the good points of her culture] and would only continue to invite widespread confusion.

During my last visit, we also had the pleasure of the company of Professor Toru Nakanishi of the University of Tokyo during our meeting for the 16th Manila Seminar, among other issues, tentatively to be held on August 2013. Despite the media reports in Spring of this year regarding the cancellation of tours from China to the Philippines, the increased stringency on China’s imports of primary goods from the Philippines, and the plight of Philippine workers in China, I was able to confirm in this meeting that “scholars should go beyond the conflicts of governments, and attend the Shanghai conference [Asia Future Conference] for as long as it is possible to do so”. We go for the sake of scholarly exchange. I was deeply moved by the burning resolve of my Philippine comrades.

For photos related to this Manila Report, please see the links below.
Visits [SGRA Photo Gallery]
Meeting at the UP College of Architecture [FaceBook]

2013年02月22日

Manila Report Winter 2013

Manila Report Winter 2013
By Max Maquito, Michael Tomeldan
(Nihongo Version)

With a total of 87 participants, three corporate sponsors (thanks to the efforts of Architects Michael Tomeldan and Steph Gilles of the College of Architecture of the University of the Philippines), and a Radio Program Extension two days after the seminar (courtesy of Dr. Aliza Racelis of the College of Business Administration of the University of the Philippines), SGRA’s 15th Sustainable Shared Growth Seminar, held last February 8, 2013 (Friday), showed that the seminar could be a smashing success and at the same time be highly self-reliant.

For the first time in the seminar series, the Philippine flag ceremony signaled the start of the seminar. Based on prior consultations with the Philippine organizing committee, it was unanimously decided, after members of the committee shared their family experiences of World War II, that the Japanese flag ceremony is done, as well. In deference, however, to the request of the senior representative of the Japanese entourage, it was decided to forego with the Japanese flag ceremony at this seminar. We are planning, however, to do the flag ceremonies of the two countries mainly responsible for the seminar series in the next seminar. The earnest wish of the organizing committee is for these two countries to get over, without forgetting of course, the horrors of the past war, and move on towards genuine and deeper Philippine-Japan relations.

Seminar 15 was also significant in terms of providing a more concrete link between the two sub-themes of the seminar series, namely “Manufacturing and KKK” (Seminar 15’s theme), and “The Urban-Rural Gap and KKK” (Seminar 14’s theme). [Note: KKK is short for Kahusayan, Katarungan, Kalikasan] One link was in the morning presentation of Mr. Nonoy Moraca and Mr. Ramon Uy which talked about import-substitution in sustainable Agriculture. Dr. Max Maquito and Dr. Joe Medina are now working with the two authors on formulating a model for their approach, called the Downstream Integrated Radicular Import-Substitution (DIRI) model.

Another link was in the afternoon session conceptualized by the U.P. College of Architecture which focused on the role of bamboo in providing social enterprise and housing. We actually started talking a couple years ago about the possibility of bamboo in the Philippines. Despite problems in developing the topic then, it was nice to see in this seminar that there is actually a wide resource and interest on this topic. Architect Ning Encarnacion-Tan pointed out that bamboo craftsmanship appears to be a 2,600-year old gene in Filipinos. Ms. Corrina Salzer spoke of how this endangered tradition could be preserved and improved using scientific methods. Dr. Florentino Tesoro gave an orientation on the biology of bamboos, including an estimate of the supply deficit of bamboos in the Philippines. Architect Beth Ochoa Regala also spoke of a supply deficit in social housing, and the need for a party to work towards the setting of standards for unconventional mass-housing building materials including bamboo. Mr. Francis Osorio showed an example of large-scale Vietnamese bamboo lumber manufacturer but proposed a backyard approach for the Philippines. Architect Raymond Sih spoke of an environmentally-friendly Japanese-based approach to concrete, which is still one of the most popular building materials at present.

Another concrete link between the two major sub-themes of the seminar series was in the extension of the Giant-Leap-And-Small-Step (GLASS) effect discovered by Dr. Max Maquito since Seminars 13 and 14, which were under the sub-theme “Urban-Rural Gap and KKK”. The extension came in confirming the presence of the GLASS effect in the OFW flows. This extension found substantial foreign exchange savings from attenuation of the GLASS effect. Thoughts on the subject were shared by OIC Cheng Veniles and Ms. Reina Marie Calvo of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

The remaining presentations were very much related to the labor issue, since the co-host, the UP SOLAIR, was one of the premier labor institutions in the Philippines. Dean Sale, in the keynote speech, proposed the intriguing hypothesis that employment was not significantly improved by the IT industry. Prof. Benji Teodosio lamented about the pathetic lack of trust in labor relations. Dr. Aliza Racelis stressed the need for a study on the ethics of Philippine corporations. Another set of studies related to labor was the survey conducted by Prof. Hitoshi Hirakawa and Dr. Shin Kawai for Vietnamese manufacturing firms, and Dr. Max Maquito and Prof. Hirakawa for Philippine manufacturing firms. The Vietnamese study was focused on how Vietnam could avoid the middle income trap, while the Philippine study was on how the Philippines could free itself from this trap. This joint project between Prof. Hirakwa and SGRA was responsible for making this research possible and bringing a research team from Japan.

With only plenary sessions, the seminar participants were able to enjoy a truly multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral, and even multi-national seminar. Indeed, the ability of the SGRA KKK seminars and the Philippines, for that matter, to achieve KKK lies in its breaking through the often jealously-guarded barriers among disciplines, sectors, and nationalities.

Already there is talk of holding Seminar 16 in August 2013! Of course, talks will only become serious after SGRA’s First Asia Future Conference (AFC) in Bangkok (March 8 to 10, 2013). A 15-strong Philippine delegation, mostly presenters in Seminar 14, will be participating. Should you wish to volunteer for the organizing committee of Seminar 16, however, do let us know after the AFC (e-mail: sgraphil@gmail.com)

Special thanks go to Dr. Aliza Racelis, Architect Mike Tomeldan for moderating the sessions and to Architect Josie Santos De Asis for keeping the sessions on track. Of course, everyone was missing SGRA Chief Representative Junko Imanishi who is always behind the seminar. Preparations for the 1st AFC regrettably made her unable to attend this seminar.

Some additional news related to the Japan-Philippine Shared Growth Seminars are as follows.

Dr. Medina and Fr. Vergara, who participated in the 15th Japan-Philippine Shared Growth Seminar, made presentations at the International Symposium on "Environmental Friendly Agriculture Based on Community Resources: A Strategy for Sustainable Development and Biodiversity" held on March 2, 2013 at the University of Tokyo. Maquito presented the DIRI model in Japan. SGRA's participation was made possible by Prof. Toru Nakanishi who is doing research on the urban poor and sustainable agriculture in the Philippines. For details, please see the link below
http://www.aisf.or.jp/sgra-in-english/2013/03/sgra_at_university_of_tokyo_sy.html

The following papers, which were briefly presented in the 14th Japan-Philippine Shared Growth Seminar, were honored to be chosen as one of the Best Papers in the 1st AFC:

"Community-Life School Model for Sustainable Agriculture Based Rural Development" by Rowena Baconguis and Jose Medina

"The Migration Link Between Urban and Rural Poor Communities: Looking for Giant Leaps and Small Steps" by Ferdinand C. Maquito

At the same time, the following presentation, which was also briefly presented in the 14th Japan-Philippine Shared Growth Seminar, was chosen as one of the Best Presentations:

"Barangay Integrated Development Action in Kapangan Towards WASH" by Jane Toribio, Delfin Canuto, Roberto Kalaw

The following paper, which was briefly presented in the 15th Manila Seminar, was presented at the 20th anniversary symposium of the Vietnam Asia-Pacific Economic symposium (also celebrating the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Vietnam) held in Hanoi on March 12, 2013: "Patterns in Overseas Filipino Worker Flows: In Search of the Giant Leap and Small Step Effect" by Ferdinand C. Maquito. SGRA's participation in this symposium was made possible by Prof. Tran Van Tho, who has always invited Maquito as a specialist on the Philippines. Prof. Tran indicated his agreement with Maquito's basic recommendation of bringing back home as much as possible the OFWs in order to power the domestic economy.

The online portal for the seminar could be found here

For photos of the seminar, please look at the SGRA Photo Gallery or the SGRA Ph Facebook

Information on the 1st AFC could be found here

For photos related to this Manila Report, please take a look at Manila Report Winter 2013

2013年06月29日

Manila Report 2013 Summer

I went home to Manila for about a week for the 14th Annual Global Conference of the Global Development Network (GDN) which was held from June 19 to 21 at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila. Despite having no paper to present, I decided to adjust my schedule (it was the middle of the summer term) to join the over 400 participants from all over the world, since GDN was taking care of my expenses including plane tickets, and 5-star hotel accommodation, and the GDN theme of "Inequality, Social Protection, and Inclusive Growth" appeared to be related to the SGRA Philippine theme of "Sustainable Shared Growth". (See this link for details of the GDN conference)

In his keynote address, President Benigno Aquino III cited the conditional cash transfer, which was the Philippine government's major program for inclusive growth. There were a number of interesting papers in the conference about this program. (For the President's speech, please see the following link:)

During the conference, as much as possible I took the opportunity to talk with the other participants in search for research and advocacy possibilities. I will be exploring some of them in the future. During the Q&As, there were active discussions, and the session chairs were very busy keeping up with the vitality of the participants, and managing the sessions so as to let as many as possible to ask questions. Due to time constraints, there were some who could not ask their questions, and I was among them. In this case, I tried to catch the presenter during the breaks, and engage them in discussions. Fortunately, I had two chances to participate in the Q&A , which I would like to report here, since I considered these important.

One was in the parallel session where the panel were all ADB researchers, and the theme was on "Operationalizing Inclusive Growth in Asia and the Pacific". Apparently, the audience tended to cluster at the back, so the session chair had to encourage the audience to move to the front so that we could see each other's faces better during the Q&A. As long as space would allow it, I normally would sit towards the front, so there was no need for me to move. But, I think it was a good encouragement from the ADB session chair, given that at an early stage of the conference, I got the impression (wrongly I hope) that the ADB people tended to avoid talking with the conference participants.

While listening to the ADB presentations, I was trying to organize my thoughts on the following: what was the difference between the concept or developmental policy/strategy called inclusive growth, which ADB was pushing, and an earlier concept or developmental policy/strategy called shared growth? I really wanted to confirm this with the ADB panel. "Shared growth" was cited in the World Bank's 1993 "East Asian Miracle" report, wherein the subject of study was the "successful Asian economies" that one of the presenters alluded to in his presentation. Based on its analysis, the report concluded that one of the factors behind the success of these countries, which included Japan, was the strategic industrial policy implemented by the government. While listening to the panel, the two growth concepts or developmental policies/strategies sounded like they covered the same areas, i.e., regional integration through trade, human capital formation, and jobs creation. However, despite the passionate presentation of one about job creation, I couldn't help but get the impression that jobs creation was sort of an after thought. I thought that this was very much evident in the presentation about the evaluation of the ADB inclusive growth program. How you ( ADB) evaluate your program clearly tells me what is important to you. Based on the evaluation presentation, inclusive growth appears to have an emphasis on social protection (= safety net, such as human capital formation and unemployment policies). If we go by this understanding, then we could think of a case such as the Philippines, where we can have more educated nurses, or more educated call center operators, but I for one would doubt very much if this would be good for the Philippines at this point. Such a development trajectory would only aggravate the early de-industrialization problem of the country. I really believe that the Philippines at this juncture should strive to develop its manufacturing sector. (I didn't mention it, but I also feel this way about the agricultural sector)

The ADB presenter who alluded to the "successful Asia", replied that the creation of the right kind of jobs is certainly important for the Philippines, and agreed that it was necessary to deepen the discussions on the early de-industrialization of the Philippines. Another presenter, who seems to be the founding father (apparently not Japanese) of inclusive growth in ADB, replied that the two growth concepts are similar words, but shared growth appears to ignore "equality of opportunity" .

I take this response as confirming my earlier understanding. Providing educational subsidies to those who cannot afford or the rescuing of those who have been laid off from their jobs are important but these do not necessarily provide a solution to the early de-industrialization mentioned earlier, making it more and more difficult for the Philippines to get out of the "middle income" trap.

One more opportunity to participate in the Q&A was in the parallel session organized by the FONDATION POUR LES ETUDES ET RECHERCHES SUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT INTERNATIONAL (Foundation for the Study and Research on International Development) or FERDI Foundation (see the following link for a write up on this session: ) The presentations were about the allocation of Official Development Assistance (ODA) under a performance-based evaluation system that considered the vulnerability to disasters by the recipient country. The designated commentator criticized the evaluation proposal saying that such a system could be too complicated for the policy makers, so that it faces the risk of reducing grant amounts. He emphasized the need for considering the political economy of ODA. In short, the comment was not to complicate things (KISS).

I also have done research on Japan's ODA from a modern economics perspective during my doctoral work at the University of Tokyo and research fellowship at Nagoya University, so in response to the commentator, I pointed out that, even if we consider political economics, ODA does not end with the appointed officials around the negotiation table but at the final beneficiaries which are the citizens of the recipient country. Consequently, the ODA evaluation system that the FERDI Foundation is developing would be highly appreciated by the citizens of the recipient country, myself included. So, I would like to laud the efforts of the foundation to develop such a system. In this sense, the proposed system could also be used as a tool for evaluating international aid agencies, so I asked the question whether this study of the performance-based allocation was also applied to other aid agencies besides the International Development Assistance of the World Bank.

In response to my comment, the designated commentator gave me a smile and conceded that I have made my point. In response to my question, the FERDI economist replied that they have applied their analysis to other international aid agencies, and basically found that they were allocated based on performance. However, they did find agencies that did not allocate this way, so it would be necessary for such agencies to review their allocation process.

On the morning of the third day of the conference, following the advice of SGRA Chief Representative Junko Imanishi, I slipped out of the conference, and made my way to the office of Kajima Philippines. My aim was to solicit the sponsorship of this company for the SGRA 16th Sustainable Shared Growth seminar to be held on August 23rd at the University of the Philippines. I was kindly received by COO Fusaaki Kato and CFO Yukio Saito. After discussing with them the seminar, they consulted each other briefly and decided to go for the largest type of sponsorship. They of course had an interest on the architecture-related presentations in the seminar, but also expressed interest in the reduction of the urban-rural gap, which is the main theme of the seminar. I intend to manage the future seminars while consulting with them.

My other efforts were to invite the conference participants to the 16th Sustainable Shared Growth seminar and to the 2nd Asia Future Conference in Bali, as well as to search for opportunities for joint research projects (especially with India and Vietnam) . It was really a fruitful three days for me, and for SGRA HQ as well, since I used my affiliation with SGRA Japan in the conference list of participants, in the Q&A sessions, and in the discussions with other participants. Of course, my face gave away the fact that I was not Japanese, although I would like to believe that I simply expressed what I have learned in Japan about her admirable thoughts regarding development.

by Max Maquito (June 29, 2013, Mejiro, Tokyo)

2013年09月22日

Manila Report Summer 2013 (16th Sustainable Shared Growth Seminar)

■Manila Report (16th Sustainable Shared Growth Seminar)
Max Maquito @ Atami (September 22, 2013)

The 16th Japan-Philippine Shared Growth Seminar “Rural-Urban Gap and Sustainable Shared Growth” was held at the College of Engineering, University of the Philippines on August 23, 2013.

At 8:45 AM, as scheduled, the seminar was opened with the Philippine and Japanese flag ceremonies. The Hi No Maru (Japanese flag) was borrowed from the Japanese embassy in the Philippines, and the national anthems of both countries were clips with English translations downloaded from YouTube. As I have reported in the Kawaraban of March of this year (Essay #368: Manila Report, Winter 2013), the holding of the flag ceremonies of the two hosting countries of this seminar was the result of consultations with the seminar organizing committee formed by Philippine nationals, based on a hint obtained in discussions with Professor Toru Nakanishi of the University of Tokyo. As you might know, at the end of the Second World War, Manila experienced devastation that would be comparable with that of Berlin and Stalingrad. While the Japanese army surrendered relatively quickly in other South East Asian cities, it is really perplexing that in the Philippines resistance was all out. When I was consulting the organizing committee about this matter of the flag ceremonies, a number of members shared their families’ experiences at the hands of the Japanese army during the war. I was worried that my proposal would be rejected. In the end, there was overwhelming acceptance of the proposal. “We should not forget that war, but we should also move on”

In his opening remarks, so as not to invite any misunderstanding, Prof. Nakanishi gave a moving talk about the significance of the flag ceremonies. When receiving the Japanese Embassy’s permission to borrow the Hi No Maru, I was to go with Prof. Nakanishi to receive the flag. Since we were going to the embassy anyway, I also proposed that we call on the Japanese Ambassador, but we were instead invited for dinner by the ambassador in honor of Prof. Nakanishi. Together with a fortunate group of members of the organizing committee, we were treated to the most delicious Japanese food in Manila at the Ambassador’s residence.

This seminar broke previous records. There was a doubling of participants (over 200), presentations (25), co-sponsors (Kajima Philippines, Agricultural Training Institute, Maria B. Valencia and Associates, Daniel B. Briones Construction, United Architects of the Philippines [Diliman Chapter]), and cooperators (Japanese Embassy in the Philippines, and Commission on Higher Education). I would like to express my gratitude for their kind support and cooperation, as well as for the hard work put in by the members of the organizing committee, the co-organizers (College of Architecture [University of the Philippines, Diliman], Philippine Center for Water and Sanitation, and PHILAJAMES), and the College of Engineering [University of the Philippines, Diliman --especially the Department of Mechanical Engineering]).

The seminar was broken down into the following five blocks: “Other KKK” (Block 1), “Social Services and Livelihoods in Urban-Rural Communities” (Block 2), “Sustainable Agriculture” (Block 3), “Sustainable Cities” (Block 4), and “Urban Green and Gray” (Block 5). There was on the average five 15-minute presentations for each block. A total of 25 presentations were made, taking up the whole day. (See the link below for the final version of the program) The Philippines was right in the middle of the rainy season, and during the week of the seminar, there were floods all over the country. Some presenters had to cancel. But owing to the earnest efforts of the organizing committee, we had about 220 participants.

My apologies to the presenters for not being able to mention their names as well as talk about all the presentations, but readers who are interested in knowing more could refer to the list of abstracts. All presentations pushed our mission of KKK (Kahusayan, Katarungan, Kalikasan OR Efficiency, Equity, and Environment) for the Philippines. In Block 1, various definitions of KKK were raised: from rather broad ones, such as “happiness”, “environmental ethics”, and “shared growth learned from Japan”, to narrower more concrete cases such as “malling”(a favorite among Filipinos) and the “health policy” of the Aquino administration. In Block 2, the presentations focused on the diffusion of water and hygiene to the country side (WASH: Water Sanitation and Health), and the implementation of systems in the highlands that are in harmony with Mother Nature (KISS: Kapangan Indigenous and Sustainable Systems). Following lunch boxes, Block 3 focused on the discussion of a project being implemented in Negros, which I have referred to in my research as the DIRI (Downstream Integrated Radicular Import-Substitution) Model. As in Block 2, attempts towards attaining sustainable shared growth were discussed. WASH, however, is NGO-led, and KISS is government-led, while DIRI is firm-led. There is a diversity of approaches. In Block 4, the focus was on how to get away from a development that was centered on Metro Manila. Various models in other regions and another country (the Netherlands) were discussed. At the same time, there was discussion about how to better utilize the strategic location of the Philippines in East Asia. In Block 5, the green and gray aspects of the city was reported on. In the former, the topics were on malls, public spaces, and urban agriculture that put emphasis on nature. The latter aspect focused on the poor people who handled urban waste, and the importance of getting them into the mainstream of society.

A question flew from the audience. “What do you think of the prospects of the Philippines achieving shared growth, and how do you think it could be achieved?”

For the past several years I have been looking at manufacturing and, more recently, at agriculture for ways that will contribute to the Philippines achieving shared growth. In particular, I have been looking at manufacturing that would enable the sharing of growth with small- and medium-scale enterprises, workers, and the East Asian region, and sustainable agriculture that would make achievable KKK. I have come to the conclusion that without support and guidance of a state strategy, it would not be possible to achieve such possibilities. We have made various attempts, but I have come to feel that not much progress has been made. This, I think, is due to the Philippine society becoming severely addicted on remittances from OFWs. Even without a potentially difficult implementation of an industrial or agricultural strategy, OFWs will remit foreign reserves. So, I find it rather hard to paint a bright picture, with respect to this question.

This was how I would have ended up answering this question, except that two weeks prior to the seminar I discovered a possible path for the Philippines. Together with Prof. Hitoshi Hirakawa of Kokushikan University, Prof. Norio Tokumaru of Nagoya Institute of Technology, and Dr. Yoshizumi Endo of Soka University, we did a brief survey of the IT industry in the Philippines. Thanks to the one week of visiting IT organizations and heavy discussions with the three visitors, I have come to feel that the Philippine IT industry may just have enough dynamism to draw out the potential of manufacturing and agriculture.

During my presentation, I threw a question to the audience. “How many are interested in our learning from Japan?” Happily, around 2/3 of the audience raised their hands. To those who did not raise their hand, I told them that I shall talk about shared growth as I learned it from Japan, and show from an economics perspective how we can learn from Japan. To those who remained unconvinced after my 15-minute talk, may I refer you to a book series “Shared Growth Lessons from Japan for the Philippines”, which we are now attempting to write.

I have decided to co-author this book series with a colleague with whom I am in good rapport regarding this topic. He asked me when should we come out with the book, to which my quick answer was “five years ago”. Perhaps it was his extensive involvement in government policy making/implementation and developmental projects, which quickly made him recognize the importance of this research. For many years, I have been trying to persuade a close economist friend. But it seems that mainstream economics (i.e., market fundamentalism) has become deeply rooted even in the Philippines. We will write in detail about the vision underlying the Manila Seminars, and in so doing hope to introduce a different brand of market-based economics to the Philippine setting.

I have been greatly re-energized this summer during my stay in the Philippines. We are already planning to hold the 17th Sustainable Shared Growth Seminar on February next year. Surely there are cries within the organizing committee that we might be going too fast. Fortunately, the majority, if not all, of more than 20 members appears to understand the importance of our mission to help the Philippines achieve KKK. The 17th Manila Seminar will be held on the 11th of February, Japan’s Foundation Day.

Related Links
1.Philippine Anthem (with English translation)
2. Japanese Anthem (with English translation)
3.Seminar Program (OR Seminar Report – now being prepared)
4.Presentation Abstracts
5. Nihongo Version of this Manila Report
6. Manila Seminar 16 Report

■ NAKANISHI, Toru "On Sharing the National Flag and National Anthem"

It is my great honor to be given a chance to talk about sharing and respecting the National Flag and National Anthem between the Philippines and Japan as a Japanese. The idea of this opportunity comes from an informal discussion with Dr. Max, Ferdinand Maquito, Program Organizer of this conference.

Frankly speaking, however, I could say that I have not loved HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO for a long time. I think many Filipinos may be surprised to hear this, but such a feeling is not so unusual among the Japanese people. Such tendency may come from the stance of mass media or the elementary and secondary level education in Japan. Some of us insist that HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO were symbols of the militarism in Japan during the World War II, so that respecting them so much will call back such militarism.

Indeed, the Japanese invasion caused huge damages to the other Asian countries like the Philippines. When I was a high school student, I read Without Seeing the Dawn, translated in Japanese, written by Stevan Javellana. This book inspired me to study the Philippine society. In this book it is eloquently described how the Japanese invasion violently changed the peaceful and happy days in a charming village in Panay Island into cruel and hopeless nights.

On the other hand, many Japanese youth were forced to serve in the so-called Kamikaze suicide squad that executed the suicide attack on the US warships, even if they did not want to die in such manner. Even as the bereaved families tried to understand the tragic loss of their sons, they have been condemned for long time after the War as if their sons were willing offenders. The ordinary people, mga tao, always lose loved ones in all wars everywhere.

From the historical point of view, it is true that the World War II had been a nightmare in the long history of Japan. If we, Japanese, really understand the history of the nightmare, none of us will repeat or participate in such tragic and sad mistakes ever. HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO were not created for the World War II but had existed since the Meiji or Edo era during the 19th century. Our history of invasions of the Asian countries has to be understood and accepted as our serious mistakes which disgraced the long history of Japan.

Furthermore, to tell the truth, I have had a basic question: can Japan really pay due respect to the national flag or the national anthem of another country, if she does not pay due respect to those of her own country? Such a question was elicited by one of my experiences in the Philippines about 5 years ago. (By the way, as introduced I have been coming back and forth to the Philippines more than 30 years now.)

I have been involved in some scholarship program for the students living as informal settlers in Malabon since 2006. The aim of this program is to assist students with good grades in the early high school level to take and pass the entrance examinations of the high standard universities, like the UP, and to assist them until their university graduation. About 5 years ago, I went to register some of my scholars for the entrance examination in a private university. I was doing this task for my wards, because their parents did not have enough money to do so.

After I queued up for long line I was finally in front of the registration window to submit the registration forms. I could get my turn at last. However, at this moment, the officer suddenly stopped working. I could not understand what happened to her and asked her why. Then she pointed to the window behind me without saying anything. When I looked back, everyone was silent in the room and were looking at only one thing: the national flag raising with the accompanying singing of the Philippine National Anthem. Immediately, I also paid due respect to the occasion. To pay due respect to the national flag and the National Anthem is very common everywhere in the world. This scene, however, is rarely seen in Japan! This was a very valuable experience for me, because I confirmed that Japan has not shared such an inspiring global standard.

Both HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO already existed long before the World War II started. If the Japanese still think that they are so sinful and therefore scarlet with shame, there must be a strong movement to change the National Flag and the National Anthem in Japan. However, we have not found such movement in Japan until now. I think all Japanese accept HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO positively or negatively. If one says this proposition is not right, I suppose that he would not face up to the history of Japan or he would like to get the absolution for the sins of the World War II by disguising to hate them.

Based on the above narration, the meanings for me as a Japanese of the honor to share the Japanese National Flag and National Anthem with Filipinos are the following three points: First, HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO continue to warn us against militarism. It can be said that for most of us Japanese to accept HINOMARU or KIMIGAYO gives us some pains to some degree or another. In general, Japanese have a feeling that to positively accept HINOMARU or KIMIGAYO means to have an abnormal thought, though to negatively accept them is not. I am confident, however, that we need some more positive deed, that is to say, to accept the whole of our history by squarely or directly confronting our stigma. HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO show our history itself. They always continue to remind us they are symbols of our long history and yet warn us of our historical events and warn us against futile and destructive military adventures.

The second point concerns a global standard of social custom. According to my understanding, there are no countries where many people have a negative image on their own National Flag and their own National Anthem, except Japan. I believe that we should pay due respect to the social custom based on historical traditions. HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO have a long history as repeatedly mentioned. Therefore, if I do not pay due respect to HINOMARU and KIMIGAYO, I must have not a global standard but a double standard. I am confident, finally, that the Japanese should pay due respect to HINOMARU as our National Flag and KIMIGAYO as our National Anthem.

Finally, all the program board members willingly consented to our, sort of test, for jointly honoring both our countries by this gesture through the initiative of Dr. Max. I know the relatives of many of you have grievous experiences similar to those described in Without Seeing the Dawn. On this point, the word “absolve” in a Catholic sense to which Dr. Max referred is very impressive to me. Here I confirm to be determined that Japan would never repeat the mistake in the World War II. Though our trial balloon today is very small step, I feel confident that it will give us a further push to fostering deeper friendship between the Philippines and Japan. Thank you very much for your kind attention.

(Professor, The University of Tokyo)

2014年01月18日

Manila Report Winter 2013

Manila Report 2013 Winter: Bringing the Fight Beyond Japan's Borders
(Max Maquito)

Right after 3.11, I had the chance to write down my thoughts in a SGRA Kawaraban (weekly online newsletter). Amidst an unprecedented disaster, I was moved at the fighting spirit of the Japanese citizens, and the global citizens that came to help, prompting me to write that this crisis is also an opportunity to review the philosophies that was Japan's very own, and to this day she has presented to the world. This "review" that I propose is not the "drastic reform" which, as shown in the lost decades of Japan, was extremely critical even of the good points of the country. What actually inspired me was the review of Japan's aspects that should be protected, in a way that further activates these aspects. The aspects that should be preserved are: the peace constitution, the three non-nuclear principles, and shared growth, which actually is the subject of my research. These could be further activated through: a Japanese Self Defense Force (SDF) that could swiftly and effectively respond to natural disasters; a non-nuclear principle that includes zero nuclear power generation; and a shared growth that extends outside of Japan.

Japan is now embroiled in a domestic struggle about these three review points. This fight is now spilling beyond her borders, and inevitably has reached Philippine shores.

The super typhoon, said to be the world's largest typhoon, that hit the Philippines on November 7, 2013, dealt a heavy blow from which even now the country is still reeling. We are filled with gratitude for the support of many countries. From Japan, we saw the largest deployment for relief efforts in the history of the Japanese SDF to the most severely hit island, Leyte. As is well known in the Philippines, Leyte was actually the island on which Gen. MacArthur led the landing of Allied Forces to fulfill his promise to the Filipinos "I shall return" during the occupation of the Philippines by Japanese forces. No one would have imagined then that a huge contingent of Japanese forces, aimed at protecting the Japanese citizenry, would be landing on the island to help embattled Philippine nationals. In order to ensure the transparency of overseas assistance, the Philippine government on this occasion created a website (Foreign Aid Transparency Hub), which reported (accessed on December 20, 2013) that Japan was one of the top three countries that have committed assistance for this typhoon disaster. The UK was first at US$96 million, Japan was second at US$74 million, and the US was third at US$ 62 million. This generous assistance is very much appreciated considering that Japan is still recovering from 3.11. It seems that his assistance includes "repayment" for the assistance that the Philippines extended to Japan after their big disaster.

In the Philippines, there is a nuclear power plant the construction of which was suspended about 30 years ago by a civil resistance movement. Given that it was suspended, I was imagining that the buildings are now dilapidated, equipment has been sold or rusting, and the grounds have been overgrown with grass. After the SGRA study tour to Fukushima on October last year, I took a look at the recent discussion about nuclear power plants in the Philippines. I was surprised to know that the nuclear power plant is practically new since it enjoyed a maintenance budget all these decades from the Philippine government. On the last day of the Fukushima study tour, I took advantage of the opportunity to ask the Group for Resurrecting Fukushima, one of the co- organizers of the study tour, to lend me their support as SGRA Philippines strives to keep the Philippines a zero nuclear country. Looking further into the matter, I found out that a group of high school students from Fukushima visited the Bataan nuclear power plant. In a newspaper interview, they remarked that the beautiful landscape of the Philippines should not be put at risk by operating the nuclear power plant. Despite the difficulties that the young of Japan have gone through because of the lost decades and the prospect of being burdened with the nuclear program legacy of their country, it is truly praiseworthy to hear such a mature opinion.

Even with regards to my research subject of shared growth, thanks in part to the entry of Japanese firms, the DNA of shared grow is being transmitted to the Philippines. As SGRA Kawaraban readers would know, Japan was able to achieve the "East Asian Miracle" wherein the rapid growth of GDP was accompanied by a reduction in the gap between the rich and the poor. Unfortunately, the Philippines was not able to experience the East Asian Miracle, but through my research, I was able to confirm the existence of the Shared Growth DNA at the level of economic zones, of a group of firms, and of a firm. My research on Shared Growth, which has been shown by Japan as possible, has continued and received much support since the establishment of SGRA. In the early years, I was doing this research through the “Japan’s Identity Amidst Globalization” Team. It was and still is my belief that Shared Growth is supported by Japan’s identity. In order to transmit what I have learned from Japan, I have been holding the SGRA Manila Seminar on an average of twice a year since 2004. The 17th Philippine-Japan Shared Growth Seminar will be held on February 11th (Tues). Those interested, please consult the following link for more details:

http://www.aisf.or.jp/sgra-in-english/2013/11/seminar_17.html

But, to think that the fight in these three areas I mentioned is over would be a big mistake.

Due to global warming, climate change will continue to be a problem as it causes various damages that we might not be able to fully predict. An organization like the Self-Defense Force, which could respond systematically while putting the lives of their members on the line, will continue to be indispensable. However, the geo-political situation in East Asia is deteriorating, and even the revision of Japan’s Peace Constitution, which constitutes the basic philosophy for the establishment of the Self-Defense Force, has now become a possibility.

Even after the occurrence of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, the construction of nuclear power plants in the world has not stopped. In the Philippines, there are powerful parties that seek to push the nuclear power option, despite the huge debt that has been repaid, and the power outages cost incurred by the Philippine citizens.

In the Philippines, shared growth continues to be a La Manchan dream. Income distribution remains to be highly inequitable. The country is mired in a “middle income trap”. Compared to the other Southeast Asian countries, the country is not as popular from the point of view of Japanese investors. Whether within or without the country, growth is not shared with the citizenry.

These three struggles are interconnected. A country that is not able to achieve shared growth incurs a more severe damage from natural disasters and is only able to recover slowly. In such a country, the majority of the citizenry would live in fragile residences, and the social infrastructure would be weak. The machinery and savings needed to recover would be very scarce. A country that is not able to achieve shared growth would be weak against a sweetly packaged nuclear option. There has been a lot of cases where even with a citizenry that has said “NO”, nuclear power plants are constructed where there are decision makers that would benefit from it.

These are issues that would be discussed in the February 11th Manila Seminar. Hopefully, this would lead to action that has been thought out.

About 3. Manila Report (translations)

ブログ「SGRA in English」のカテゴリ「3. Manila Report (translations)」に投稿されたすべてのエントリーのアーカイブのページです。過去のものから新しいものへ順番に並んでいます。

前のカテゴリは2. Asia Future Conferenceです。

次のカテゴリは4. Manila Seminars on Shared Growthです。

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