On September 6 (Friday) and 7 (Saturday), 2013, the eighth meeting of the Fukuoka-Busan Forum (representative of the Fukuoka side: Chairman Susumu Ishihara of Kyushu Railway Co.), in which business leaders of Fukuoka City and Busan Metropolitan City consider the future of the areas straddling the strait between Japan and South Korea, was held in Chuo-ku, Fukuoka.
At the meeting, Mr. Sadao Matsui, the consul-general of Japan’s consulate-general in Busan, and Mr. Park Jin-woong, the consul-general of South Korea’s consulate-general in Fukuoka, were invited as guests, and discussions were held on issues relating to the plenary theme “What role Should Fukuoka and Busan Play in the Dramatically Changing Situation in East Asia,” such as how to promote media exchanges and economic activities amid the chill in the relationship between Japan and South Korea as exemplified by the freeze on bilateral summits. Through the discussions, the participants explored what role Fukuoka and Busan, which are promoting private-level exchanges across the strait, should play in improving the government-to-government relationship.
The Fukuoka-Busan Forum, which was established in 2006 as an organization to present recommendations, comprises 25 members, including representatives of companies, media organizations and universities. The forum holds an annual meeting alternately in Fukuoka and Busan.
From Kyushu University, Executive Vice President Yukio Fujiki (a member of the Board) attended the latest meeting on September 6 and President Arikawa attended it on September 7. On September 6, Professor Fukunari Kimura of Keio University delivered a keynote speech titled “New International Division of Work and Japan-South Korea Economic Relations,” after which opinions were exchanged about media exchanges and economic promotion. Executive Vice President Fujiki introduced Min Byeong-ju, a lawmaker belonging to South Korea’s ruling party who is an alumnus of Kyushu University, to the gathering, reported on the Japan-Korea Strait College program, which was implemented in August with the support of the Japan-Korea Cultural Foundation, and made a presentation regarding the global strategy of the Abe Cabinet.
On September 7, after a continued exchange of opinions on economic promotion, President Arikawa made a presentation regarding such issues as the domestic and overseas situations surrounding national universities in recent years, a five-year extension of the Fukuoka-Pusan university consortium, which was established based on a recommendation from the forum, the provision of internship opportunities by companies in Fukuoka and Busan, Kyushu University’s hydrogen energy research, and the development of the Kyushu University Academic City.
(Top) Forum members listening to a presentation by President Arikawa
(Middle) President Arikawa making a presentation on initiatives conducted by Kyushu University
(Bottom) Executive Vice President Fujiki (a member of the Board) (right) talking with President Kim Ki-Seob of Pusan National University (left) with Director Takatoshi Matsubara of the Research Center for Korean Studies (center) serving as a translator