SGRA Report Special Issue
AFC6 Round Table 2
Contemplating the World from Southeast Asian Lens 1:
"Community and Global Capitalism ~ It’s a Small World After All ~"
Date：August 29, 2022 (Mon)
Venue：Taiwan (via ZOOM)
Organizer：Atsumi International Foundation Sekiguchi Global Research Association (SGRA)
In a world that seems to misconstrue globalization as global standardization that is based on establishing hegemonies, ASEAN stands in stark contrast with its respect for diversity based on a principle of non-interventionism. This call for harmony amidst diversity is in fact the hallmark of the Atsumi International Foundation’s vision of good global citizenship. This in turn has been imbibed by the Sekiguchi Global Research Association, which has been organizing various seminars, one of which is the sustainable shared growth seminar series in the Philippines.
These sustainable shared growth seminars have always been concerned with communities. This proposed session is in line with the seminars’ focus on decentralization as a major principle in attaining sustainable shared growth. In the roundtable, this focus on communities is taken using international, interdisciplinary, and inter-sectoral lenses, with a strong Southeast Asian perspective.
The term ‘small world” is understood in two senses. In the first sense, we borrow from social network theory, which looks at nodes in a complex network as being effectively separated by small degrees so that everyone essentially lives in a small world. In the second sense, we refer to the small worlds of communities, the microcosms of our societies.
Social Network theory tells us that a small world network, especially with scale-free tendencies, tends to create hubs, which make the network more efficient, as well as more robust against random shocks, such as natural disasters, but less robust against orchestrated shocks, such as simultaneous terrorist attacks. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us once again that the global economy is a small world after all. While conspiracy theories would tell us that this was a concerted attack that brought the global economy to its knees, latest evidence-based analysis tells us otherwise. In either case, the pandemic is similar to an orchestrated terrorist bombing attack as it almost simultaneously struck the major hubs of the global economy. This is a natural result of the hubs being the major points of entry of people or virus carriers from all over the world.
This roundtable brings together those from Southeast Asia who are contemplating communities in a turbulent global economy. The pandemic has also reminded us that the small worlds of communities may just be important after all.
Click here for the report.
Sekiguchi Global Research Association (SGRA)
Atsumi International Foundation
Posted: March 2022
In collaboration with College of Public Affairs and Development of the University of the Philippines Los Baños
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REAL PROPERTY VALUATION AND ASSESSMENT REFORM
Posting Month/Year: February 2022
In collaboration with College of Public Affairs and Development of the University of the Philippines Los Baños
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On May 29, 2021(Saturday), the 19th Japan-Korea Asia Future Forum ended successively. This forum was supposed to be held at Tokyo in March 2020. But, due to the pandemic of COVID-19 we had the forum on Zoom Webinar (web-seminar) style. SGRA, who has been undertaking global communication proactively took an initiative to organize the forum using “ON-TACT” in COVID-19. (*ON-TACT: Korean English. External activities using ON-LINE) As concern Japan-Korea relations, it is not so easy to find contacting point though there is a sign of improvement, such as regime changes in Japan and America or different from the precedent sentence at the Korean court. Then, what to do? What shall we do to break the status quo? What will the government do? What will the researchers of Japan-Korea relations do?At this Forum, four specialists from both countries each exchanged their opinions “what shall we do at crossroads of the Japan-Korea relations?” The Forum started by the opening speech by Ms. Junko Imanishi, Representative of SGRA and key-note speeches by two specialists from Japan and Korea each followed. Firstly, Mr. Masao Okonogi, Emeritus Professor of KEIO University made his speech under the title “Present stage of the Japan-Korea relations – Where are we now?”. It is not easy to improve Japan-Korea relations in short period considering the political schedule. But, in the long run, if we would consider the birth of new identity and alternation of generations, we will be able to accelerate to bury the unfortunate past. In the United States, the Biden Administration calls their allied Countries and friendly Nations for their solidarities against China as their strategic competitor. Both Japan and Korea, which exist just between America and China, shared the strategies that they would improve mutual image and take the initiative to share their broad recognitions. They emphasized the reconfirmation of the joint declaration by Kim Dae-Jung (ex-President of South Korea) and Keizo Obuchi (ex-Prime Minister). Professor LEE Won-deog, Kookmin University reported Japan-Korea relations from Korean viewpoint. He diagnosed reversal phenomena in their relations which became remarkable through its transit their offense and defense and emphasized that it is desirable for Japan and Korea to promote their multi-layered and multi-dimensional cooperation in the circumstance that strategic competition between America and China are being intensifying. Korea must establish their foreign policy against Japan on their strategic thinking and national interest without getting swayed by emotion of masses. They must start reading Japanese properly.As to the issue of conscripted workers, he presented four scenarios.Scenario-1: “Leave it (Maintain the status quo)”Scebario-2: Resolution by subrogation (establishment of foundation)Scenario-3: Judicial Resolution (The International Judicial Court)Scenario-4: Political Resolution (Abandonment of Reparation or Formular by KIM Young-sum) Among those scenarios, Professor Lee said Scenario 4 is the most suitable. We got down to the debate. Mr. Shen Yuxian, ex-Director of Editorial Department of The Dong-a Ilbo, asked Professor Okonogi that “Is there any solutions to improve the relations between Japan and Korea by sharing their internal mind and future vision, not by external factors or the past example?” He pointed that “In order to make those solutions possible, it is necessary to think who, when and how people should do? And consciousness and persuasion, open attitude by leadership and political world and sharing international cognition would be an answer to the solutions.” Mr. Atsusi Ijyu-in, Chief Researcher of Japan Center for Economic Research, commented on the opinion by Professor LEE Won-deog that it is not easy to establish “Big Alliance against China” by the Industrialized Nations. It is realistic to organize order-made linkages depending on individual theme, such as securities, technology, supply chain and human right etc. As to the Japan-Korea relations, how about the utilize of such dealings and sharing the strategies? Part 2 (Free discussion):Associate Professor Jin Zhiying, Hanyang University surveyed the situation as follows:In order to solve the complexed conflicts between Japan and Korea, the key is to solve first the issues on conscripted workers and comfort women be retrieved. It will be difficult to ask the Suga Administration (Japan) for apology or to keep flexible attitude for Korea. Professor Susumu Kohari, University of Shizuoka emphasized as follows: It will be necessary to have a balanced “Realism and Idealism” in mutual cognition among people of both Countries. He worries about people’s recognition toward other country which were formed from their quasi-surroundings which came from “the society in their mind” (not from direct experience) under the situation “Total interruption of human exchange under COVID-19 pandemic”. We should deal with this matter by promoting ON-LINE dialogue etc. Professor Junya Nishino, KEIO University suggested as follows: Both countries are trying to understand the other by leader’s behavior. But we should pay attention more to the fact that the other society is diverse from their own and it is quite common. It is important also to understand the recognition of the other toward international order and how they develop the strategy and policy basing on such recognition. It should be subjective to establish “new relationship”, not “restoration” under the governmental “controlling” of the relations of both Countries. Professor Park Yon-june, ＮATIONAL ＤEFENCE UNIVERSITY, said as follow: It is a key for the improvement of the relations of the Korean Government through the consultation with the Japanese Government reconsidering of dissolution of “The Foundation for Conciliation and Healing”. In the field of diplomatic and national security which Korean Government wants, it is indispensable to achieve strategic goal for the cooperation of both countries. Part 3 (Q and A Webinar)Q and A on Webinar style with general public participants assisted by Eminent Professor KIM Soonbae, Chung-nam National University.We had participants, hundred or more including from KEIO University, University of Shizuoka and Kookmin University. Due to schedule, we could not give them enough time for Q and A. But the number of participants which exceeded a hundred is the most remarkable in the history of the Japan-Korea Asia Future Forum and it was noteworthy that young generation of two countries could connect concurrently. Lastly, Director Suh Jae Jean, Center for Future Human Resources Research Studies wrapped up the forum with his comment on his long scholarly relationship with Professor Okonogi. The forum was supposed to be ended by his closing address. But due to twenty minutes delay of opening by unexpected sound trouble (acoustic feedback), opening speech did not reach clearly, Ms. Imanishi appeared again to explain about the delay and made her final speech. Under COVID-19 pandemic, we did not reproduce “Frenzy Night” which is unique to the Japan-Korea Asia Future Forum. I think “frenzy acoustic feedback” would predict for next gathering. We had a meeting for reviewing and got controversial discussion on the positioning of the forum and like to contrive for a format which can expedite discussions among a lot of people concerned, not limited to researchers and dialogs among not only the young in Japan and Korea but a lot of civilians also. Finally, I express my thanks to Ms. Imanishi, Representative of SGRA, ex-Chairman LEE Jin Kyu(Governor of South Hamgyong Province) and staff members who made absolutely sure for Webinar. Report of the 19th Japan Korea Future Forum in Japanese (original)Photos of the Day (in Japanese)Questionnaire total result (in Japanese and Korean) KIM Woohghee / Professor Inha University, SGRA Researcher Translated by Kazuo KawamuraEnglish checked by Sabina Koirala
SGRA Sustainable Shared Growth Seminar 28 ReportTowards Sustainable Shared Growth Policy BriefsMay 31, 2021In collaboration with College of Public Affairs and Development of the University of the Philippines Los BañosSeminar Report (Lite Version) Seminar Report (HD Version)
SGRA Report Special Issue AFC5 Round TableThe 3rd Southeast Asia Inter-cultural/Religious Dialogue Social Ethics and Global Economy“Can Religion Stop the Tyranny of the Market Economy?” Date：January 10 (Friday), January 11 (Saturday) 2020Venue：Alabang Bellevue Hotel and University of the Philippines, Los BanosOrganizer：Atsumi International Foundation Sekiguchi Global Research Association (SGRA) AbstractTo date, the Southeast Asia Inter-Cultural/Religious Dialogue has been held twice at the Asia Future Conference. The first session was at the 2016 conference (AFC 3) in Kita Kyushu, in which the impact of globalization on Southeast Asian countries and contemporary religious responses to the issue were discussed. The second session took place in 2018 in Seoul (AFC 4), and the focus was on peace and the role of religion in conflict and crisis resolution in Southeast Asia. In the third Southeast Asia Inter-Cultural/Religious Dialogue, the focus will be on ethical theory borne from religion (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism) and the economy. Despite the economic progress and reduction in poverty in Southeast Asian countries achieved under the current global economy (the globalization of the economy), there continues to be a spread in inequality and with it a growing social division. The distribution of fortune and power has become polarized, and while megacities are built in these countries there is a sense offatigue amongst local communities who seek to reject the knowledge of their elders which sustained their past lifestyles. Southeast Asia consists of diversity of ethnicities, religions and cultures, and through the trials and errors of the past have built up awealth of wisdom. In this roundtable we gather theologians, philosophers and economists, and through focusing on the wisdom and knowledge of Christianity’s third world theology, Islam economics and Buddhist philosophy explore the perspectives given on the economy in an increasingly complex world. The Problem From an Economist’s Perspective (by Hitoshi Hirakawa)The globalization of the economy has eradicated absolutely poverty in Asia, but even in this global society inequality in wealth and property continues to be on the rise domestically. Democratic systems have spread in form around the world, but a closer look reveals that authoritarian systems are shooting up even in developed countries. At the root of these social problems is the rapidly growing inequality in wealth distribution. How can an economist make sense of the current situation? After the collapse of the Eastern bloc, the form of economics which privileged above all else liberal competition (neoliberalism) gained overwhelming influence and pushed for the globalization of the economy. Unfortunately, mainstream economists were not interested in how property and wealth were distributed and stood by the privileged in society who increased the gap in wealth distribution. It can be said that they played a role in assisting the spread of the insatiable capitalism that pervades society today. There are rules in society, and limitations. In the history of humanity, freedom and equality have been developed through the concept of human rights. However, to what extent do economists today incorporate this history into their research and outlooks? We are seeing a phenomenon in which the antithesis of democracy is being produced by democratic processes, and this is a crucial issue that needs to be examined. The countries of Southeast Asia have seen tremendous growth over the past ten years. As one of the core regions of global growth, it has also seen a reduction in the number of people experiencing absolute poverty. With this economic development many people also find themselves ever more entwined and caught up in the processes of global capitalism, and embedded in the hierarchical structure of consumer capitalism. The inequality in wealth distribution increases and the social gap grows wider, as does destruction of the environment. Many new tasks and challenges await the future of Southeast Asia. At the same time, there is a “wisdom” that has driven and supported these established cultures, such as the sufficiency economics of Thai Buddhism, local community mutual economy aid in Indonesia, Islam in Malaysia, and the anti-globalist economic theory of Christianity that is the basis of poverty aid relief to the slums of the Philippines. There is now a calling to integrate the knowledge gained from religions and intellectual thought and to allow them to fulfill a new role in the current market economy. This is not restricted to Asian societies, but rather can provide us with insights for the potential of development in this increasingly global world. This roundtable was put together with the above problems in mind. Through the presentations given by the presenters, I hope that we can learn from each other and have a fruitful exchange. Click here for the report. Sekiguchi Global Research Association (SGRA)Atsumi International Foundation
Sustainable Shared Growth Policy Brief #2COMMUNITY CURRENCY IN A DISASTER: 3.11 TWICE REMEMBERED by Max Maquito and Joffre BalceApril 20, 2020Summary. The Policy Brief’s aim is to glean lessons from the March 2011 tsunami disaster that struck Japan that are relevant to the current pandemic. Buttressing the extensive hard infrastructure was the soft infrastructure embodied in the social capital of Japanese communities which contributed to the simultaneous diminished vulnerability and improved resiliency of these communities. This paper further focuses on community currencies as a policy instrument whose functions are to enhance social capital and hasten the movement of money, thereby contributing to reducing vulnerability and enhancing resiliency of communities.Policy Brief
Sustainable Shared Growth Policy Brief #1“DISASTER VULNERABILITY AND RESILIENCY: SUSTAINABLE SHARED GROWTH PRINCIPLES FROM A TIME - SPACE - UNIVERSE CONTINUUM“ by Max Maquito and Joffre BalceApril 2, 2020Summary Unshared growth, i.e., growth without improvement in the distribution or income or wealth, makes us more vulnerable and less resilient towards natural disasters. It is of prime importance, therefore, that we build a society that leverages the principles of sustainable shared growth so that our policies span across generations and national boundaries, flatten the Kuznets curve of inequality, and further promote decentralization. It will call for innovative and even experimental approaches tempered not by a capricious obsession with theory but glimpses of success in history that can be used as components of an alternative universe. In such an alternative universe, we are likely to be spared the enormous hardships that we are now experiencing as our nation, nay, the world struggles to unite in its fight against an insidious and deadly enemy.Policy Brief
SGRA Sustainable Shared Growth Seminar 27 ReportLand Value Tax: A Mechanism for Decentralisation?November 16, 2019College of Public Affairs and DevelopmentUniversity of the Philippines Los BañosSeminar Report
SGRA Report Special issue AFC4 Round TableThe 2nd Southeast Asia Inter-Religious Dialogue Tolerance and Reconciliation-Religious Responses to Conflict Resolution- August 25th 2018 (Sat) 9:00~12:30 Case Presentations & Roundtable DiscussionAugust 26th 2018 (Sun) 9:00~12:30 Sessions 1 and 2Venue： The K Hotel Conference Hall Seoul, Korea The first “AFC：Southeast Asia Inter-Religious Dialogue” was organized during the 3rd Asia Future Conference in the autumn of 2016. The theme of this roundtable session was “Religious Responses to Changing Social Environment in Southeast Asia”. In the session we discussed the religious responses towards various issues in Southeast Asian countries which have been severely impacted by the process of “globalization”. The topic “religious tolerance” emerged as an important aspect of inter-religious dialogue in Southeast Asia. For the 4th Asia Future Conference of August 2018 in Seoul, we propose to hold the 2nd Southeast Asia Inter-Religious Dialogue” focusing on “Tolerance and Reconciliation”. The Purpose of the Roundtable：Despite the fact that confrontation and dispute arise out of political and economic factors, we often misunderstand such disputes as “religious confrontation”. This is because religion is relevant to the socio-economic and cultural fabric of the community and the people who are in confrontation with each other. Especially in Southeast Asian countries which are said to be a “mosaic” of race and religion, such tendencies are even more pronounced, and confrontation sometimes turns into communal conflicts. On the other hand, there are many cases where religious communities and their leaders have succeeded in peacefully solving such confrontations and disputes. We assume such religious and civil leaders have accumulated vast experiences in reconciliation and peace-building processes. This roundtable session will also be an opportunity to share and learn from the experiences of the speakers mentioned below, some of whom have been involved in the conflict resolution and reconciliation processes in this region. Click here for report Sekiguchi Global Research Association (SGRA)Atsumi International Foundation