16th Japanese-German Forum

October 2–3, 2007

The 16th Japanese-German Forum was held in Tokyo from October 2–3, 2007. Thirty-eight participants gathered to discuss various issues including the changing socio-political dynamics in Japan and Germany, East Asia regional developments, common challenges of energy and global warming and areas of cooperation, as well as fostering an environment of science and technology innovation to respond to social changes.

A message from Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who addressed the Forum five years ago, was read by Japanese Chairman Yuzaburo Mogi during the opening session, demonstrating the Prime Minister’s appreciation for the value of and expectations for the Forum.

On the second day, some of the German participants paid a courtesy call on Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura.

At the end of the Forum, the two Chairmen prepared a statement summarizing the discussions, which was presented to Prime Minister Fukuda and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Dear Madam Chancellor,
Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

During the 16th meeting of the German-Japanese Forum, which took place in Tokyo from Oct. 2 to Oct. 3 our discussions focused specifically on two major issues which we had identified already in our previous meeting in Berlin in 2006: the common challenges posed by global warming and an increasingly tight world energy outlook, and the implications of the rise of China, not least in that context. Permit us to share some of the conclusions and implications of our discussions with you, some of which we already had the opportunity to discuss with Chief Cabinet Secretary Mr. Machimura who welcomed some of the members, despite the very recent instalment of the new Japanese Government.

  • Reconciling the constraints imposed by climate change with the energy needs of a still growing world population and widespread lack of development represents perhaps the most fundamental political challenge of our age. This challenge, we all agreed, could only be met through broad-based international political co-operation, but it also requires determined efforts by each individual country and society, including our own, so as to make international co-operation effective.
  • As highly developed, major industrial countries which depend on energy imports, Germany and Japan have a particular responsibility, but they could also benefit particularly from the opportunities inherent in that challenge. Our countries should therefore push further their bilateral and multilateral co-operation efforts to identify ways to develop alternative, non-fossil based sources of energy and to use energy more efficiently and sparingly. Ultimately, Germany and Japan could and should spearhead the search for a new civilisational model compatible with the constraints of climate change and the still enormous needs for development. This would also help to enhance their competitive position in the world economy through innovation.
  • Credible leadership by example will be very important in international energy/climate co-operation. Both Germany and Japan have played a leading role in promoting the protection of the world’s climate, as the “Kyoto Protocol” and the most recent G-8 Summit meeting in Heiligendamm in Germany testify. This leadership role now needs to be built upon to secure further progress at the international level. To achieve this, Germany and Japan will need to live up to their commitments. Yet our assessment of the ability of Germany and Japan to meet their self-defined targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions produced considerable doubts whether our national commitments for 2012 will in fact be met. We therefore call on you to redouble your efforts in this context, while at the same time pushing for a convincing follow-up to the Kyoto protocol at the December 2007, Bali conference under the auspices of the United Nations. What will be needed now is to translate the CO2 reduction objectives for 2050 into more specific targets and timelines for individual countries and regions.
  • We discussed at some length the situation in East Asia and the new security environment there against the background of China’s rise, and we also considered China’s position regarding the energy/climate challenge. Our conclusion was that, while there is a new awareness about the importance and urgency of environmental protection in China’s government, actual policies so far have shown only very limited results on the ground. China’s CO2 emissions are therefore likely to grow roughly in line with economic growth. Thus, both GNP and CO2 emission levels are presently projected to double within ten years.
  • In this context, Germany and Japan should explore further possibilities to assist China and India, in particular, and less developed economies in general in adapting their energy systems to the new context. Specifically, your governments should jointly promote concrete, triangular project co-operation between our two countries and China on energy conservation and renewable energy resources, combining our know-how and technological assets.
  • One implication of this will be a huge increase of China’s energy import dependence. Following up our recommendation last year to bring China more closely into multilateral co-operation frameworks, we would like to suggest specifically that your governments explore further Chinese membership in the International Energy Agency as a means to enhance energy security of both China and our industrialised democracies.
  • Russia will play an increasingly important role in energy supplies to both Europe and East Asia in the future. We discussed the implications of this and recommend that your governments might coordinate their efforts to have Russia join both WTO and the Energy Charter as a means to integrate the Russian Federation more closely and reliably into multilateral frameworks of international energy co-operation and thus enhance the principle of reciprocity, which should guide international energy co-operation.
  • We also discussed the contribution nuclear energy could make in the context of the energy/climate challenge. Germany’s decision in 2000 to terminate the utilisation of nuclear power still stands, but is still—or increasingly—being contested between parties. The majority view in our discussions was that nuclear energy, given recent technological advances which also enhance safety, might be needed and should be used to help overcome the energy/climate challenge.

The capacity of our economies and societies to innovate will be of obvious importance in coping with the energy/climate challenge. In our last session, we therefore reviewed at some length the efforts of our two governments in this regard and once more were impressed with how fruitful and inspiring such exchanges are: our two countries, we feel, still can learn a lot from each other. What would be desirable now is to pursue, in the specific context outlined above, our shared interests and common experiences through co-operation in concrete projects to support energy innovation, in our own societies and beyond.

As has become tradition by now in our meetings, our first session once more was dedicated to a review and discussion of recent political, social and economic developments in our two countries.

Very respectfully yours,


Dr. Bernhard Scheuble      Yuzaburo Mogi
German Chairman               Japanese Chairman

Tuesday, October 2

Session I: Changing Socio-Economic and Political Dynamics in Japan and Germany

Japanese Speakers:
Yoshimasa HAYASHI, Director, Committee on Budget; Member, House of Councillors (Liberal Democratic Party)
Koichiro GEMBA, Member, House of Representatives (Democratic Party of Japan)

German Speaker:
Theo SOMMER, Editor-at-Large, DIE ZEIT

Session II: Recent Developments in East Asia

      • Rise of China and its Economic and Political Impact on the Region
      • Changing Regional Security Environment with Dynamic Interactions among Diverse Actors (United States, Japan, Russia, China, North and South Korea, etc.)
      • Prospects for Regional Community Development

Japanese Speaker:
Akira KOJIMA, Chairman, Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER); Corporate Adviser, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc.

German Speaker:
Eckart von KLAEDEN, Member of German Parliament (CDU/CSU)

Wednesday, October 3

Session III: Common Challenges of Energy and Global Warming

      • Domestic Debates on Energy Strategies
      • Promoting More Effective Information Exchange, Joint Research, and Joint Activities between Germany and Japan
      • Japanese-German Cooperation in Supporting Developing Economies

Japanese Speaker:
Naoki TANAKA, President, Center for International Public Policy Studies

German Speaker:
Rolf HEMPELMANN, Member of German Parliament (SPD)

Session IV: Innovations in Science and Technology to Respond to Needs Resulting from Social Changes

      • Role of Governments, Universities/Research Institutions, and Corporations
      • Incentives for Enhancing Innovations
      • Creating Enabling Legal and Administrative Environments for Innovation

Japanese Speaker:
Taizo YAKUSHIJI, Member, Council for Science & Technology Policy, Cabinet Office

German Speaker:
Klaus-Dieter MATTHES, Director for International Strategy and Multilateral Cooperation, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

German Participants



Chairman of the Foundation Council, Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB)



Member of German Parliament (The Left)


Director-General, Asian and Pacific Affairs, Federal Foreign Office

Friederike BOSSE

Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB)


Director, German Institute for Japanese Studies

Hans-Joachim DAERR

Ambassador to Japan


Member of German Parliament (SPD)


Professor, University of Trier; Advisor, German Council on Foreign Relations

Matthias NASS

Deputy Editor-in-Chief, DIE ZEIT

Wolfgang SCHMITT

Managing Director, German Agency for Development Cooperation (GTZ)


Editor-at-Large, DIE ZEIT


Member of German Parliament (Alliance 90 / The Greens)


Professor, Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich


Eckart von KLAEDEN

Member of German Parliament (CDU/CSU)

Klaus-Dieter MATTHES

Director for International Strategy and Multilateral Cooperation, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Japanese Participants


Yuzaburo MOGI

Chairman and CEO, Kikkoman Corporation



Member, House of Representatives (Liberal Democratic Party); Former Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs


Member, House of Councillors (Democratic Party of Japan)

Koichiro GEMBA

Member, House of Representatives (DPJ)

Yoshimasa HAYASHI

Director, Committee on Budget, House of Councillors; Member, House of

Shin’ichi KITAOKA

Professor, University of Tokyo; Former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations


Chairman, Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER); Corporate Adviser, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Inc.


Member, House of Representatives (Liberal Democratic Party); Former Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Yoshihide MUNEKUNI

Former Chairman, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.


President, Research Institute for Peace and Security (RIPS)


Senior Editorial Writer, Mainichi Newspapers


President, The Japan Foundation


President, Teijin Pharma Ltd.

Yoshio OKUBO

Executive Vice President, The Japan Foundation


Chairman of the Board, NEC Corporation

Yoshihide SOEYA

Professor of Political Science, Keio University

Toshiyuki TAKANO

Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany

Hitoshi TANAKA

Senior Fellow, Japan Center for International Exchange; Former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs


President, Center for International Public Policy Studies


Senior Fellow, Japan Center for International Exchange; Former Japanese Ambassador to Russia


Editor in Chief, Monthly Magazine Ronza, Asahi Shimbun


Member, Council for Science and Technology Policy, Cabinet Office


President, Japan Center for International Exchange