Shinzo Abe reviews an honour guard at the Foreign and Commonwealth office before his meeting with Theresa May on 10 January 2019 in London. Photo: Getty Images
Shinzo Abe reviews an honour guard at the Foreign and Commonwealth office before his meeting with Theresa May on 10 January 2019 in London. Photo: Getty Images

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Preface

The Nippon Foundation, together with The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, has been engaged in a wide range of activities to promote exchange between the UK and Japan. Intellectual and cultural exchange has focused on developing leaders with the capacity to promote the bilateral relationship and address common challenges.

Chatham House is a world-leading source of independent analysis, informed debate and influential ideas on how to build a prosperous and secure world for all. The institute has long had strong ties in Europe and Japan, and its work on the latter aims to promote understanding of Japan’s economic, political and social development, and its impact upon the world.

In the early years of the 21st century the world witnessed rapid change and instability. The issues were complex, and went beyond the scope of Japan and the UK alone. We began to see a need for a forum where experts in both Japan and the UK could come together to analyse and understand not just bilateral but also global issues from a comprehensive perspective, and to consider how the two countries could cooperate and contribute ideas in this broader framework.

In this context, the three organizations embarked on a project to examine global issues of shared concern, ranging from international affairs and trade to social issues. Together, we initiated the UK–Japan Global Seminar series in 2013 as a forum to discuss these issues, and possible solutions, over a period of five years. Chatham House was ideally placed to host this series of conferences and to disseminate the resulting publications through its global networks.

A total of five seminars were held between 2013 and the end of 2017. In the process, the UK–Japan Global Seminar evolved into a stimulating forum where policy experts, researchers and leaders came together to share their knowledge and experience.

This final report is the culmination of the UK–Japan Global Seminar series, bringing together contributions from Japanese and UK authors who participated in the discussions in 2013–17. It is our hope that the report will help stimulate a deeper interest in, and further understanding of, the key international challenges among policymakers, researchers, the media and the general public.

I would like to express my deep appreciation to all the experts and analysts who took part in the seminar series for their cutting-edge research on pressing global issues, and to those who have contributed articles to this final report, which will serve as the legacy of the series.

In closing, let me extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone at Chatham House, and especially the institute’s Director, Dr Robin Niblett, and to The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation for their help in realizing the UK–Japan Global Seminar series and producing the final report. I hope that all of you will continue your important work in the future.