SGRA Kawaraban (Essay) in English
Husel Borjigin “Ulaanbaatar Report , 2017 Fall”
As a commemorative undertaking of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Mongolia, we had the 10th Ulaanbaatar International Symposium “Japan and Mongolia in Eurasia” on August 26/27, 2017 at the Conference Hall of National University of Mongolia. The event was co-sponsored by the Institute of International Culture, Showa Women’s University and Department of Asian Studies, National University of Mongolia and supported by the Japanese Embassy, Showa Women’s University, Association for the History and Culture of the Mongols, and the Graduate University of Mongolia. More than ninety researchers from Mongolia, Japan, China, Russia, Canada and Taiwan participated.
Ulaanbaatar International Symposium which is co-sponsored by academic societies of Japan and Mongolia was established in 2008 and had nine symposiums already. Sponsors of those symposiums have changed each time and the theme has also been different. It means that each symposium had its own distinction. Needless to say, at some of those symposiums, histories, politics, economy and culture of Japan and Mongolia became central issues.
The former Soviet Union, United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan and China played a big role in the reorganization of public order in the Eurasia. And, Mongolia has been standing always in a strategic position. Mongolian basic foreign policy is： “After the Cold War, we establish balanced relationship, not inclined toward one side like to our neighboring countries China or Russia. And, we promote plural foreign policies by strengthening relationship with third countries, like Japan, America and European countries. We never join any military alliance or coalition.” However, in November, 2012, Mongolia joined OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe).
We set up the theme “Japan and Mongolia in Eurasia” for the 10th Ulaanbaatar International Symposium aiming at approaching a new relationship between Japan and Mongolia. It will be a suitable theme to commemorate the 45th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relationship between Japan and Mongolia.
I write here especially that we got a lot of support for our preparation of this symposium. In Japan, Mr. Hiromitsu Suzuki, Showa Women’s University, a staff member of International Cultural Institute, supported us. Prof. V. Batmaa, Chair of Department of Asian Studies, National University of Mongolia and Mr. L. Bayar, Researcher of Institute for Defense Studies of National Defense University gave us their support in Ulaanbaatar.
The Battles of Khalkhyn Gol and Nomonhan were discussed twice, out of the nine times we’ve had this symposium. I, myself, am acquainted with many researchers in the field of Mongolian history of military through the two wars, the ending of World War II and the detention of Japanese in Mongolia. I could get their support. . We could also get support from the Research Center of National Defense Science of National Defense University. The Japanese government sent a Military attache to Mongolia this time for the first time. On October 13, after the symposium, the Japanese government had a reception at the Japanese Embassy in Mongolia for Japanese Self-Defense Forces. It shows Mongolia has a geopolitical importance.
His Excellency, Masato Takaoka, Japanese Ambassador to Mongolia, invited us in the evening of August 25. Mr. Sakutaro Tanino, Visiting Prof. of Showa Women’s University, ex-Director-General, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, ex-Ambassador to China and India and Mr. Marohito Hanada, Adviser to the NEANET (NPO Northeast Asia Transportation Corridor Promotion Network), ex- Japanese Ambassador to Mongolia were also invited.
We had a pleasant talk over dinner about relationship between Japan and Mongolia, and the influence of China, Russia and America.
Actually, I had met His Excellency Takaoka at the early part of December, last year when I was invited, together with Prof. Katsuhiko Tanaka, a professor emeritus, Hitotsubashi University, by Mr. Keiji Ide, Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary for international anti-terrorism policy, ex-Japanese ambassador to Russia, Croatia. It was my pleasure to have been invited at Ulaanbaatar.
Prof. Tanaka made an opening speech in the morning, August 26. Following his speech, President Ya. Tumurbaatar, National University of Mongolia gave us greeting and His Excellency Takaoka gave us congratulatory address. After those speeches, research reports followed for one day and a half.
We received twenty-one reports this time:. twelve invited reports and nine reports which were selected from eighteen reports of public advertisement
Main reporters are as follows：
Mr. Tanino, Mr. Hanada, and Mr. Tanaka, Mr. S. Khurelbaatar (ex-Mongolian Ambassador to Japan), Emeritus-Professor Hiroshi Futaki, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, President of The Japanese Association for Mongolian Studies, Prof. D Tsedev, Ulaanbaatar University, Prof. Choiraljav, Inner Mongolian University, Prof. O. Batsaikhan, Mongolian Academy of Sciences and an Associate Professor, Mei-hua Lan the National Chengchi University (Taiwan) reported.
Other reporters : From National University of Mongolia, Mr. V. Batmaa, Chair of Department of Asian Studies, Assistant Professor, B. Otgonsuren, B. Khishigsukh. Ms. Katasonova Elena, Head of Japan Studies Sector, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Federation’s Science Academy, Mr. L. Bayar, a Researcher of the Institute for Defense Studies for National Defense in Mongolia, Mr. Samuel G. Gildart, a lecturer of Ferris University (Japan).
From Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Prof. Kazuyuki Okada, Visiting Prof. G. Galbayar, and Akira Kamimura, a part-time lecturer. Assistant Prof. Kunio Minato from Kochi University, Prof. Ts. Purevsuren, the Graduate University of Mongolia, Akina Kobayashi, a part-time lecturer, Hosei University, Kozue Takahashi, Special attache, Embassy of Japan in Mongolia.
They reported on historical and current events, and their viewpoints of history, politics, military affairs, international relations and culture. And discussions on their reports were very distinctive. They discussed how the relations between Japan and Mongolia would be and how the order in the Eurasian area should be.
Details of their report will be provided separately.
In the afternoon, 27th August, Prof. Futaki delivered a closing speech putting his idea on the symposium in order and pointed out problems to be solved. After the closing ceremony, the reporters went to the Naiman-Sharga Mongolian Camp in the suburbs of Ulaanbaatar, after visiting the Zhukov Museum. We could see the River Tuul flowing twistedly in grass-land in emerald green color and white “ger” (round tent) scattered on its bank.
Horses and cows were grazing peacefully. It was a familiar scenery in Mongolia, but I could have a feeling of freshness because we were in the Army Camp.
After eating local delicacy and drinking “kumis” (Mongolian fermented dairy drinks), we rode on horsebacks. Prof. Tanaka, aged 83 years old, showed his vigor by making his horse run. After the Naiman-Sharga Mongolian Camp, we visited a theme park for the Ghenghis Khan Statue and returned to Ulaanbaatar as scheduled. We took dinner at “Nagomi” Japanese Restaurant.
A symposium participant gave us their words of thanks : “we had discussion with a lot of wisdom in the morning, made a big dreamlike excursion in the afternoon and had delicious Japanese foods in grass-land town in the evening. How luxurious it is !”
This symposium was authorized as an undertaking of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Mongolia. And this symposium was published in Mongolian newspapers like “Ödriin Sonin(Daily News)”, “Open Door”, “Soyombo” and “Ulaan Odkhon(Red Star)” and broadcasted in “Mongolian Government Broadcasting” or “TV5”.
(Proffessor, Showa Women’s University)
Translated by Kazuo Kawamura
English checked by Mac and Max Maquito