The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership
I wish to extend my greetings and very best wishes to all of you for the new year.
I would also like to thank you sincerely for your kind understanding and support for the programs undertaken by the Center for Global Partnership (CGP) in the course of the year 2008.
Amid the multitude of global problems that the international community should tackle in concert, such as climate change, poverty, infectious diseases, and natural disasters, the world around us is faced with further challenges; the worsening situation in Afghanistan, the difficult path to stability and reconstruction in Iraq, the ever-present danger of terrorism and, the increasingly grave financial and economic crisis since last year. Further, some have voiced the concern about the “dilution” or the weakening of the bonds between Japan and the U.S. Under these circumstances, we should think seriously about how to chart the future course of the Japan-U.S. relationship and what Japan and the U.S. can contribute together to the world.
The new U.S. administration under President Obama is expected to usher in a year of “Change and Hope” in 2009. As the new administration places its priority on cooperation with friends and partners, the year 2009 will also bring new opportunities for Japan and the U.S. to play a leading role, in cooperation with countries in the Asia-Pacific and other regions, in tackling global challenges such as climate change. We should make the most of these opportunities, which will help strengthen further the foundation of the Japan-U.S. relationship.
As recommended by the Report of CULCON (US-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange) XXIII last June, a key element in this is promoting intellectual exchange through increasing opportunities for policy dialogue and developing networks of public intellectuals between the two countries. We at the Center for Global Partnership would like to make whatever contribution we can to this end through our fellowships, grants, conferences and seminars, collaboration with U.S. think tanks and other programs.
I look forward to working with you all.