Prime Minister Kan Calls for
"Opening Japan and Reinventing KIZUNA" in Davos

February 10, 2011

H.E. Mr. Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan, attended the 2011 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, known as "Davos," held from January 26 to 30 in Switzerland. On January 29, he delivered a special speech entitled "Opening Japan and Reinventing KIZUNA."

In his message, Prime Minister Kan appealed the need to "Open Japan" by breaking the impasse in people's minds and in the economy while reinventing "KIZUNA"(interpersonal bonds) so that the opening of the nation will not bring about a rupture among the people. The Prime Minister conveyed the message to the world according to the following points:

  1. (i) Opening ourselves up (tackling the new reality, building on 150-year-old lessons learned on opening the country, promoting economic partnerships to give concrete form to our opening, revitalizing agriculture based on a nation-opening spirit, and overcoming growth limitations with innovation based on a nation-opening spirit);
  2. (ii) Creating new bonds ("KIZUNA") (generating the new bonds needed for a society with the least unhappiness, redefining the value of work from the perspective of bonds, developing a spiral-staircase model for revitalizing traditions with new values, promoting international contributions built on the concept of "human security," and accelerating "inclusive growth" in the APEC Growth Strategy); and
  3. (iii) Conclusion – achieving cross-coupling for Japan, and for the wider world
    Japanese Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry have invented a scientific method known as cross-coupling, which is the act of separating bound atoms and molecules and forming different bonds among them.
    In its challenge to build an open future, Japan is driven to reconnect people by utilizing new bonds, "KIZUNA," through cross-coupling, so as not to have them separate from society.

Prime Minister Kan also attended the opening of a session on "Reinventing Japan" and stressed the need for Japan and its people to restore confidence and step outside into the world. H.E. Mr. Banri Kaieda, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and Dr. Sadako Ogata, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), also attended the session as panelists.

During his visit to Davos, Prime Minister Kan also engaged in intense exchanges of views with experts in international affairs, including Mr. Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations. The experts made references to, inter alia, a high evaluation of "human security"; the importance of changing mindsets and of the movement of people in opening the nation; expectations for Japan's leadership in the Doha Round negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and economic partnerships; and expectations for Japan's Growth Strategy including the reduction of corporate taxes.

Please also refer to the website of the Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet below for further information on his attendance at the Davos Meeting, including the entire text of the speech. (other site)

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