Japan-EU Symposium on Further Promoting People-to-People Exchanges
Co-chairs' summary

(Tokyo, 11 November 2002)

The Japan-EU Symposium on Further Promoting People-to-People Exchanges was held on 11 November 2002 in Tokyo with the participation of many guests and members of the public. The Symposium was organised in accordance with the ≪ Action Plan for EU-Japan Cooperation ≫ adopted at the 10th EU-Japan Summit in December last year with a particular view to implementing Objective 4, fostering exchanges and better understanding between the people of Europe and the people of Japan.

Participants included opinion leaders and experts of Japan and the EU from the business sector and from the areas of academic research, education, the press and local authorities' exchange bodies. Officials from Japan and the EU Member states also joined the Symposium.

The Symposium was organized on the basis of the results of the workshop of specialists held in April this year in Brussels. Broad issues were covered in each of the three sessions under the themes 'People-to-People Exchanges', 'Educational and intellectual exchanges' and 'cultural exchanges' at the Symposium. Participants extensively referred to the existing frameworks of bilateral and multilateral programmes such as the JET Programme, the EU-Japan Journalists Conference, the EU-Japan Friendship Week, the EU-Japan Fest, a number of ASEM activities as well as various training and exchange programmes for Europeans in Japan.

Several proposals regarding exchanges of students and youth, academics, researchers (including those specialising in security issues) and journalists as well as links at the level of regional and local authorities were made. Issues of funding were also raised. From now on the discussion can also move into meetings such as workshops of experts, seminars, conferences or symposia with specified themes of those proposed in the Symposium. The aim will be to contribute to setting a clear road map for cooperation between the EU and Japan in preparation for the year 2005, "the Japan-EU Year of People-to-People exchanges". It will also be necessary to take into consideration events that will be held in the same year notably EXPO 2005 Aichi when preparing the Year of Exchanges. The German initiative for the "Year of Germany in Japan" in 2005 and the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Japan-German Centre in Berlin will also be of relevance.

In this context, the symposium took note of a proposal from the University of Athens to organise a EU-Japan University Rectors' Conference in the first half of 2003 when Greece holds the EU Presidency.

Contributions made by participants are of great importance for further developing Japan-EU people-to-people exchanges. Therefore a precise record of the symposium will be made in a book.

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