Redesigning a Community and Society through Creative Solutions to Social Issues

Ever since the Great East Japan Earthquake, people are paying greater attention to the importance of human bonds and connections, but this is not a phenomenon seen only in Japan. As societies urbanize and families become more nuclear, the role of traditional family and community ties is being discussed all over the world.
The Arab Gulf states (Gulf Cooperation Council states) have also seen a rush towards urbanization in recent years, with strong traditional community and family ties now existing alongside the new lifestyles of individualistic, cosmopolitan youths who lead lives unbound by tradition. Thus, finding a delicate balance between these two elements in society has become a pressing issue.

How is it possible to realize a society with strong ties?
Or, what can be done to strengthen bonds in society without infringing upon individual rights and freedoms?

These topics will be discussed by the next generation leaders of Japan and the Arab Gulf states.

Wochi Kochi Magazine carries the record of the discussion at the Japan Foundation on February 5, 2013.
“Redesigning a Community and Society through Creative Solutions to Social Issues” Wochi Kochi

Program report: Middle East and North Africa Group Study Program 2012 – 2013
"Redesigning a community and society through creative solutions to social issues" A total of 43 pages (PDF:10.59MB)

Visit to Japan: Sunday, February 3 to Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Countries Kuwait and Bahrain
Participants A total of 10 next generation leaders, aged 25 to 39, from Kuwait and Bahrain (members of the media or NGOs/NPOs, as well as artists, government officials, and academics) with the power to attract people and communicate ideas
Places Tokyo, Koriyama City in Fukushima Prefecture, and Ishinomaki City in Miyagi Prefecture
Format Lectures, informal meetings, local visits, workshops, press conference, etc.
Lecturers/local visits Community or social capital experts, or individuals/groups etc., from all over Japan involved in social action through "ties"

Follow-Up Program (Lecture Tour in the Arab Gulf States)

Being as a follow-up to this study program, the Japan Foundation dispatched Gota Matsumura (Representative Director, ISHINOMAKI2.0) to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Kuwait, from June 25 to July 4, 2013. In the three countries, Matsumura gave a lecture for the general public and talked about the City of Ishinomaki; which is one of the most badly-affected areas from the Great East Japan Earthquake, and has been working on reconstruction efforts. In addition, he introduced his organization’s unique challenge in renewing the city. Especially in Bahrain and Kuwait, the next generation leaders, who visited Japan through the study program in February 2013, came to give a talk, and shared what they experienced and thought in Japan. Overall, this follow-up program deepened understanding of the significance of further exchange between Japan and these nations.

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