29 September 2014

Chatham House, The Nippon Foundation and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation are pleased to announce a keynote conference in Tokyo on 2-3 October entitled ‘The Role of the Nation State in Addressing Global Challenges: Japan-UK Perspectives’ 


Former British prime minister and joint president of Chatham House, The Rt Hon Sir John Major KG CH, will deliver the keynote speech on day one, after opening remarks by Tim Hitchens, British ambassador to Japan and Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House. 

The conference will explore six critical issues over two days: day one will examine the three broad themes of failing states, disaster management, and democracy in transition. Day two will focus on three parallel case studies: the contemporary Syrian refugee crisis, the Fukushima triple disaster of 2011, and democratic transition in Myanmar/Burma. 

Sir John Major said:  'On behalf of Chatham House, I would like to thank the Nippon Foundation and Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation for making possible this significant and viable dialogue between the UK and Japan.  This is one of our most important partnerships – offering informed opinion on the most crucial challenges of our time – and I very much look forward to our continued partnership in the years ahead.' 

Robin Niblett, director, Chatham House, said: ‘Thinking through the best ways to promote stability and security beyond a nation’s shores is one of the most complex challenges for policy-makers today. There have been many failures and few successes in recent years. This conference aim to draw lessons from the past and help the United Kingdom, Japan and others prepare better for the future.’ 

The conference will examine the specific roles of the UK and Japan in addressing major global challenges and the speakers will address how international organisations can best foster proactive and effective responses to global problems. 

John Swenson-Wright, head of the Asia programme, Chatham House, said:

‘At a time when the Abe administration is developing a new proactive approach to global affairs, Japan is well-placed to play a constructive role in confronting a range of critical international challenges. This conference, the second in a series of annual events, is an ideal opportunity to explore creative new ways in which the Japanese and British governments can combine their distinctive talents in helping to resolve pressing threats to regional and global security.’ 

Other speakers include Sir Adam Roberts, emeritus professor of international relations, University of Oxford; Tomohiko Taniguchi, special adviser, cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; and Margareta Wahlström, UN special representative for disaster risk reduction. 

Chatham House, in partnership with The Nippon Foundation and the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, is undertaking a five-year project to examine the ways in which the UK and Japan – two  nations that share wide-ranging international interests and perspectives – are adapting to a changing world. 

The conference is the second in a five-year series, held alternately in London and Tokyo.  

Editor's notes

Event: The Role of the Nation State in Addressing Global Challenges: Japan-UK Perspectives

To register for the conference and for further information, please email Chloe Sageman [email protected]