17(Sun) - 21(Thu)
The Asahi World Forum 2021, the sixth in its series, will be held for 5 days from October 17 (Sun) to 21 (Thu) this year, with a main theme, “Hope with Action Can Change the World”. The Forum is a flagship event of the Asahi Shimbun Company and has served as a platform to explore the paths, together with our readers, to achieve a sustainable Earth and human society.
With the world still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, climate crisis continues to threaten us; anxiety about the outlook of the world economy lingers; and we see growing international political tensions including U.S.-China confrontation.
What hope should we hold and what action should it be backed by in order to achieve a better world? We will discuss this question, taking up many subjects listed under the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a number of prominent domestic and overseas speakers.
All sessions will be streamed online with no physical audiences as last year to avoid coronavirus transmission.
Six DOORS to Areas that Matter to You
Dialogue : Let’s Learn SDGs with nonFollowing last year’s appearance, non will return to the stage of the Asahi World Forum. This year, the actress will read aloud a picture book related to the SDGs and discuss the issue with Shojiro Okuyama, Editor in Chief of withnews.① DAY1 13:50 ～ 14:05
- Together with Generation Z
- To talk to young generations who will create a new era.
REPLAY :DAY2 15:35 ～ 15:50 DAY4 13:00 ～ 13:15 DAY5 14:25 ～ 14:40 ② DAY1 17 :40 ～ 17:55
REPLAY :DAY3 13:00 ～ 13:15 DAY4 16:55 ～ 17:10 ③ DAY2 13:00 ～ 13:15
REPLAY :DAY3 15:15 ～ 15:30 DAY5 13:00 ～ 13:15Guestnon
ArtistModeratorShojiro OkuyamaEditor in Chief of withnewsPanel Discussion : Open Class "Digital Nature—What am I?"A world where "natural" and "artificial" matters become fused and indistinguishable—Digital Nature. In there, "I"s all over world, including AI, are connected across time and space. What is "I" who lives the present time, and what kind of future awaits it? “I have multiple selves on SNSs”, “I can’t make friends in the physical world”, “I feel as if I am always under surveillance”, and “I am not as free as it seems”—university students who make these comments will ask Yoichi Ochiai, Associate Professor at the University of Tsukuba and Media Artist, how they should live in the future.DAY3 18:50 ～ 19:50 REPLAY :DAY4 17:15 ～ 18:15PanelistsYoichi Ochiai
CEO, Pixie Dust Technologies
Associate Professor, University of TsukubaStudent members of the Asahi Shimbun DIALOGPanel Discussion : Love is What We Should Pour into the "Future"—for a “Not-as-Bad” WorldWhat will happen to this country—and to humankind? In today’s world, many people feel vague anxiety about the future. A book titled Shin Nihon has been attracting attention since it proposes the way to draw a future that is “not as bad” in detail and dynamically. How should young people survive the age of AI? What sort of abilities should they acquire? What should adults do? “What kind of initiatives can change the future? It’s fun to think about the answer and make a move,” says the book’s author Kazuto Ataka, Yahoo Japan’s Chief Strategy Officer and Professor at Keio University. He will discuss this question with young people in this session.DAY5 19:00 ～ 20:00PanelistsKazuto Ataka
Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies, Keio University
Chief Strategy Officer, Yahoo Japan CorporationMomoko NojoFounding director of NO YOUTH NO JAPANHiroki YoshidaSophomore, Waseda University School of Political Science and EconomicsCoordinatorMidori IkiStaff Writer, City News Section of the Asahi Shimbun
Panel Discussion : Humankind and Society in the Post-COVID-19 Era—Exploring "New Intellect" NowIs our competitive society that judges people by just their abilities deepening divides? We will invite political philosopher Michael Sandel, who sees excessive “meritocracy” behind the social divides—the COVID-19 calamities have further highlighted them—in his latest publication The Tyranny of Merit. Joining him in a dialogue will be molecular biologist Shinichi Fukuoka, who contends that exploring “new intellect” instead of overemphasis of knowledge and skills is necessary to overcome divides and survive this chaotic era. The two leading intellectuals in Japan and the United States will discuss how the society should be in the post-COVID-19 era from macroscopic perspectives transcending academic fields.DAY1 14:10 ～ 15:10 REPLAY :DAY2 18:40 ～ 19:40PanelistsMichael Sandel
- Pondering a Post-COVID-19 Society
- To explore the way democracy, politics and society should be in the aftermath of the COVID-19 calamities.
Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University
Political PhilosopherShinichi Fukuoka
Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
Guest Investigator, Rockefeller UniversityCoordinatorTomoko Nagano
Journalist（Special Co-host: The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership)Panel Discussion : Altruism from Perspectives of Education and Disability CareWith Molecular Biologist Shinichi Fukuoka, Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, as Commentator, two panelists will participate in this session: Professor Asa Ito, who is working on the "Altruism Project" at the Future of Humanity Research Center of Tokyo Institute of Technology, and Tomoko Shirai, Representative Director of Japan Association of New Public, who has been proposing alternatives to the current Japanese school education. Various people live in our society. While the words such as “diversity” and “coexistence” have become rather overused, how should we face and engage with other people who are different from oneself? Ito, who studies the way bodies exit from the angle of disabilities, and Shiroi, who has been interacting with diverse children, will discuss how to relate to others, based on their respective experience.DAY1 15:30 ～ 16:30PanelistsShinichi Fukuoka
Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
Guest Investigator, Rockefeller UniversityAsa ItoDirector, Future of Humanity Research Center, Tokyo Institute of TechnologyTomoko ShiraiRepresentative Director, Japan Association of New PublicCoordinatorAkiko SuzukiDeputy Editor-in-Chief, the Asahi Shimbun GLOBE(Special Co-host: The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership)Panel Discussion : Let’s Discuss Democracy from Scratch NowGlobalization has brought about exacerbated economic inequality and social divides in many countries around the world, leading to rampant populism in some cases. While this “crisis of democracy” had been called out for quite some time, the coronavirus pandemic, which broke out in early 2020 and has since swept through the world, and the often-draconian measures taken to address it, have made many people feel the crisis more imminently. In this session, Shigeki Uno, a prominent political scientist, and Colin Woodard, an American writer renowned for his book American Nations, will analyze what is going on with democracy in the two countries as well as globally and explore the ways to go.DAY3 13:20 ～ 14:20PanelistsColin Woodard
Historian and JournalistShigeki Uno
Professor, Institute of Social Science, the University of TokyoCoordinatorKengo Sakajiri
Political News Editor of the Asahi ShimbunPanel Discussion : Where is America Heading?—Tomohiro Machiyama's Report from FrontlineEven after the start of the Biden Administration, the United States has continued to be wobbling with the coronavirus calamity, confrontation with China, the situation in Afghanistan, resurgence of former President Trump’s political activities, and so on and so forth. How are Americans going about their business? In this session, we will hear reports on voices of people on the street regarding wide-ranging issues including COVID-19 vaccination, movies, music, and sports, and discuss social divides, which Japan cannot dissociate itself from.DAY4 13:20 ～ 14:20PanelistsTomohiro Machiyama
ColumnistMineko NomachiWriterCoordinatorYu MiyajiStaff Writer, City News Section of the Asahi ShimbunDialogue : Taiwan, Digital Technology, and DemocracyAudrey Tang has been serving as Taiwan’s Digital Minister since 2016, when she was appointed at the age of 35. An openly transgender “civil hacker”, she has made an enormous contribution to Taiwan’s democracy, utilizing digital technologies in policymaking in an open and inclusive manner, including a platform called Pol.is. In this session, we will ask her to talk about wide-ranging issues such as Taiwan’s fight against COVID-19, the relationship between AI and human society, and diversity and inclusion. Surely, there will be so much Japan can learn from.DAY4 19:25 ～ 20:25 REPLAY :DAY5 16:40 ～ 17:40GuestAudrey TangDigital Minister of TaiwanModeratorKeiko YoshiokaSenior Staff Writer of the Asahi ShimbunPanel Discussion : Osaka/Kansai Expo—How will it Draw the Future Society?The Osaka/Kansai Expo will be held in 2025 with the theme "Designing Future Society for Our Lives". Pavilions (exhibition halls) of various countries of the world and corporations will line up, showcasing new technologies such as flying cars. The Expo is also considered as an opportunity to check the progress towards achieving SDGs (the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals) and to accelerate the efforts thereon. What kind of programs are being planned? Is there any way for us to get involved? Can we leave legacies for the future? We will check the latest state with the two panelists, who are involved in the preparations of the event, and discuss the significance and the potential of World Expos.DAY5 14:45 ～ 15:30PanelistsYoshimasa Sakai
Public Relations Strategy Bureau Policy and Planning Bureau Director-General, Japan Association for the 2025 World ExpositionYumi Kijima
President of WAKAZO
Medical student at Tokyo Medical and Dental UniversityCoordinatorShinji HakotaniStaff Writer, Economic News Section of the Asahi Shimbun
Panel Discussion : Let’s Review Japanese Medical Care Squeezed by Novel CoronavirusWith the spread of COVID-19, multiple cases were reported where the patients were not admitted to hospital and died at home. The number of beds did not keep up with the speed of spreading infection and the number of competent medical staff was insufficient, too. Failure in smoothly transferring recovered patients to other hospitals was also a factor. In this session, a physician who is specialized in medical policy and medical economy, a physician who treated COVID-19 patients on the front line at an early stage of the emergence of the disease, and a nurse who engaged in patient treatment in various parts of the country will sort out issues and discuss what we can do now and what we can improve on to prepare for the next pandemic.DAY2 19:45 ～ 20:45 REPLAY: DAY3 16:40 ～ 17:40PanelistsSatoshi KutsunaProfessor, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka UniversityRyu NikiProfessor Emeritus, Nihon Fukushi UniversityRika MiyataJapanheart Global Human Resources Department NurseCoordinatorTokiko TsujiSenior Staff Writer of the Asahi ShimbunPanel Discussion : Coronavirus Calamity and CivilizationMany of new communicable diseases, including COVID-19, are considered to come from unknown viruses held by wild animals. Degradation of natural environment, including tropical forests, has shortened the distance between wild animals and humans. Behind this is a food system that creates monocultural farmland by destroying nature in order to produce food cheaply and deliver it to dining tables. The coronavirus calamity has revealed the flaws of modern civilization such as excessive emphasis on economic efficiency and inequality. This session will explore how we should build a society in the future.DAY5 13:20 ～ 14:20PanelistsKoichi GokaNational Institute for Environmental Studies, Biodiversity Division（Ecological Risk Assessment and Control Section）／HeadTatsushi FujiwaraAssociate Professor, Institute for Research in Humanities, Kyoto UniversityCoordinatorAkemi KandaStaff Writer, Science and Medical News Section of the Asahi Shimbun
- COVID-19 and Medical Care
- To review the background of the explosive increase in COVID-19 infection amid warning of “collapse of the medical care system” and to think about how things should be in the future.
Panel Discussion : Our Home "Earth" that We Want Pass on to Our ChildrenThe effects of climate change, such as heat waves, heavy rainfall, and droughts, are starting to be visibly observed. What will become of the Earth, humankind’s “home”. Is there anything we, who live on the Earth today, can do to ensure that the generations of our children and grandchildren all over the world will be able to continue to enjoy the blessings of nature? This session’s panelists will be kabuki actor Ebizo Ichikawa, who has been actively engaging in tree-planting activities out of his interest in environmental issues; Taikan Oki, a special advisor to President of the University of Tokyo and a renowned hydrologist; and Anne McDonald, Professor at Sophia University, who is well versed in the cultures of farming, mountain and fishing villages. They will talk about the current environmental issues and the prospects from their own perspectives.DAY1 18:00 ～ 19:00 REPLAY :DAY2 15:55 ～ 16:55PanelistsEbizo IchikawaKabuki ActorAnne McDonaldProfessor, Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Sophia UniversityTaikan OkiHydrologistCoordinatorRyo YamagishiReporter, Asahi Broadcasting Nagano Co.,Ltd.Panel Discussion : Climate Security and GeopoliticsIn recent years, damage caused by typhoons, heavy rains, and floods in the Japanese archipelago has intensified. Such abnormal weather is considered to be related to climate change and has become evident overseas as well. It sometimes causes famine and refugee outflows, leading to the idea of “climate security” gaining popularity in the circles of international politics. Rapid spread of renewable energy has brought about geopolitical changes, too. In this session, which comes right ahead of the COP 26 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in the UK in November, a researcher who noticed the importance of climate security at an early stage and the Asahi Shimbun’s correspondents in Europe and China will discuss the rapidly changing situation in the world and explore the directions Japan should take.DAY2 13:20 ～ 14:20PanelistsYasuko KameyamaDirector, Social Systems Division, National Institute for Environmental StudiesAtsushi OkuderaAsahi Shimbun Hong Kong / Guangzhou Bureau ChiefRyuichi KanariAsahi Shimbun London based correspondentCoordinatorShinji InadaFormer Editor in Chief of the Asahi Shimbun GLOBEPanel Discussion : Age of Climate Crisis—What Can We Do to Change the “There’s Still Time” Attitude?There is a growing sense of crisis, more than ever, about climate change. We have been observing floods and landslides caused by heavy rainfall almost every year in Japan. What will happen in a few years’ time or in decades? While such anxiety is spreading, efforts towards a carbon-free society have been accelerating. This topic has been gradually moving to the center stage at international conferences by political leaders and in corporate activities. Nonetheless, the main player to build a carbon-free society and to live there is each of us. How can we come to regard this large-scale issue as our own matter and change our lifestyle accordingly? You should find some tips in this session.DAY3 14:25 ～ 15:10PanelistTakuya Shimamura
- Facing up to Global Environment
- To imagine one step ahead what the global environment will be like and to discuss the vision and action required of us now.
Member of the Board, Chairman, AGC Inc.
Chairman, The Asahi Glass FoundationTakushi Izawa
Earth Company Co-FounderCoordinatorMasatoshi Toda
Staff Writer, Political News Section of the Asahi ShimbunPanel Discussion : It’s Not Just Climate Change That Matters!
<Part1> How to incorporate the perspective of biodiversityWith six years having passed since the Paris Agreement was adopted, the world has begun its move towards decarbonization. The crisis we face, however, is not just climate change. In particular, degeneration of biodiversity due to human activities, which is said to be a factor in emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19, threatens the foundation of our life. Since climate change and biodiversity loss are in a relationship of negative chain reaction, simultaneous resolution of both is required. We will explore what we can do to avert what would become the sixth “Period of Mass Extinction” in the history of Earth.DAY4 14:25 ～ 15:25 REPLAY :DAY5 17:55 ～ 18:55PanelistsYukari TakamuraProfessor, Institute for Future Initiatives, the University of TokyoVirginie Derue
Head of ESG Research, AXA Investment ManagersShizuka HashimotoAssociate Professor, the University of TokyoKatrin Funk
Sustainability Promotion Department NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD.CoordinatorToru IshiiSenior Staff Writer of the Asahi Shimbun（Special Co-host: Institute for Future Initiatives, the University of Tokyo)Panel Discussion : It’s Not Just Climate Change That Matters!
<Part2> Creating a Sustainable Future through BusinessBiodiversity issues, like climate change, are a risk factor, but can be at the same time an opportunity for business. The economic value ecosystem services bring to human society through clothing, food, housing, etc. is estimated to be over 3,000 trillion yen per annum. The role of business is crucially important in maintaining a sustainable society without losing the blessings of nature that we currently enjoy. What are the latest moves of corporations and financial institutions in this area? We will consider this question with people in business.DAY4 15:50 ～ 16:50PanelistsMinoru MatsubaraExecutive Officer of Resona Asset ManagementKahori Miyake
ＡＥＯＮ Chief Sustainability OfficerToru IshiiSenior Staff Writer of the Asahi ShimbunCoordinatorYukari TakamuraProfessor, Institute for Future Initiatives, the University of Tokyo（Special Co-host: Institute for Future Initiatives, the University of Tokyo)
Panel Discussion : Changing Aged Care Scene by Awareness Reform and TechnologyThe number of Japan’s elderly people aged 65 and over is projected to reach a peak of 39.21 million in FY2040, more than a third of the total population, exacerbating the shortage of aged care workers. The COVID-19 calamities have bluntly made us realize that aged care is an “essential job” that is indispensable to support society and that enhancement of human resources in this area is urgently required. We will discuss how to do it with Yoshimi Ui, aba CEO, and Keiko Kawaguchi, Professor at Osaka Junior College of Social Health and Welfare, who has long engaged in nurturing aged care workers and studies the background of their shortage.DAY2 17:00～17:45PanelistsYoshimi Uiaba CEOKeiko KawaguchiProfessor、Osaka Junior College of Social Health and WelfareAkira FukuzawaBroadcasterCoordinatorMisako TakahashiStaff Writer, Culuture and Lifestyle News Section of the Asahi ShimbunDialogue : Sisterhood for Survival—Women and Politics Today and Future ProspectsRecently, females have become political leaders one after another around the world. Chancellor Merkel of Germany and Prime Minister Ardern of New Zealand have drawn much attention for the leadership they demonstrated in countering the COVID-19 pandemic. In Japan, on the other hand, there’s no sign of significant increase in the number of women in the political arena with little prospect of a female Prime Minister in the foreseeable future. How can we increase the number of female politicians? And how can women become more related to politics? We will ask these questions to Mikako Brady, who explored the skills exercised by female politicians in her book Women’s Politics and discussed gender issues in her latest publication Putting on Someone Else’s Shoes, with “sisterhood” as a keyword.DAY3 15:35 ～ 16:35 REPLAY :DAY4 18:20 ～ 19:20GuestMikako Brady
- Engaging in SDGs
- To explore “what we can do” and “what we are likely able to do” in a mountain of things we should do.
ColumnistModeratorNoriko AkiyamaSenior Staff Writer of the Asahi ShimbunPanel Discussion : Thinking about Child Labor through ChocolateOne in four children around the world is said to be trapped in child labor. This issue has in fact much to do with the affluent and convenient life in developed countries. Chocolate is a good example to show the linkage. In this session, we will seek solutions to the issue by inviting Tomoko Shiroki, Executive Director of ACE, an NGO engaging in activities to reduce child labor in rural villages in Ghana, from which most of Japan’s cacao imports come; and Wataru Ikuta, Board Director of Tachibana & Co., Ltd. (trading company), who spends over 100 days in cacao growing areas, trying to achieve fairer shares for cacao farmers. We will also play a video message from Kailash Satyarthi, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his activities to rescue children from illegal labor.DAY3 17:45 ～ 18:45Video MessageKailash Satyarthi
Child Rights Activist
Nobel Peace Prize LaureatePanelistsTomoko Shiroki
Managing Director, ACEWATARU IKUTA
Director, Tachibana & CO., LTD
Managing Director, Tachibana international Pte LtdCoordinatorMiyuki Hokugo
Senior Staff Writer of the Asahi Shimbun
Panel Discussion : Space Exploration and Development—What Kind of Future Should We Envisage?Last December, the unmanned space probe “Hayabusa 2” delivered to the Earth a capsule containing sand collected on an asteroid. It was the second successful sample-return mission following the first-generation Hayabusa’s, making Japan a leader in asteroid exploration. On the other hand, leading space powers, the U.S., Russia, and China have extended their exploration to the moon and Mars, and their competition has become heated. When it comes to exploration and development of space, it is necessary to discuss their issues and future prospects from legal and ethical angles as well as from scientific viewpoints. In this session, we will invite a scientist who has set his eyes on deep space exploration and a legal scholar who is involved in the rule making for resources development and discuss social and international issues underlying the dream of space exploration.DAY1 16:35 ～ 17:35 REPLAY :DAY3 19:55 ～ 20:55PanelistsYuichi Tsuda
- Overcoming Issue Confronting You
- To ask how people tackled and overcame difficulties that blocked the way to achieving their dreams.
Professor, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Hayabusa2 Project ManagerSetsuko AokiProfessor of Law, Keio University Law SchoolCoordinatorTetsuya IshikuraStaff Writer, Science & Medical News Section of the Asahi ShimbunPanel Discussion : Do It Right with Space from the BeginningHumankind has polluted the Earth. Wherever humans conduct activities, they pollute the place. That’s what we have learned. It is then the power of nature that cleans the polluted Earth. That power of nature, however, gives humans power to conduct activities in space, which in turn may well pollute space. To avoid such a situation, efforts have been made to get rid of space debris. Let’s raise awareness on the issue of space pollution with two experts and Tomoe Shinohara, who belonged to the astronomy club at high school and is now known as an astronomy enthusiast.DAY2 14:25 ～ 15:10PanelistsNobu OkadaFounder and CEO, Astroscale Holdings Inc.Tomoe Shinohara
ArtistAkira FujishimaDistinguished Professor, Tokyo University of ScienceCoordinatorTakashi NakajimaSenior Staff Writer of the Asahi ShimbunPanel Discussion : Shift Your Perspectives—For Tomorrow's Regional Areas“Has lost steam…”. Isn’t that what many of you feel when you visit your hometown and take a close look? It has been 13 years since Japan’s population started to decline. The rate of decline is higher in regions than in urban areas. There’s a shortage of workers, successors of family business, and even bearers of portable shrines. Vacant houses and shops have increased, leading to security concerns. Furthermore, the novel coronavirus calamity has reduced the flow of people and goods to and from urban areas, jeopardizing regional economies. Is there any way to overcome such issues regional areas face? Let’s ask experts for tips. There seem to be workable solutions if you can change a little bit of your perspectives and values.DAY2 17:50 ～ 18:35PanelistsShogo Fujiuchi
General Manager,Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Division, Japan Tobacco Inc.
Rethink PROJECT Promotion OfficerMiai KobayashiCEO, HITOBITO.incKazumasa SashideEditor-in-chief of Sotokoto magazineCoordinatorNoriyoshi OtsukiSenior Staff Writer of the Asahi ShimbunPanel Discussion : Metabolism of Japan’s EconomyJapanese companies have long operated in a male-centered manner and lacked mobility in their human resources. While there are loud calls for "innovation" and "DX", the conventional thinking of competing for survival is still dominant, just like being aboard a sinking Titanic. Unless we change this way, the world will leave us behind, and there is little hope for the future. Isn’t it start-ups that are to take the lead in raising the Japanese economy? In this session, Tomoko Namba, Founder of DeNA, exchanges views with young entrepreneurs Yuka Iwasaki and Hibiki Nozawa to explore concrete tips, new ideas, and aims for realizing genuine metabolism in the Japanese economy.DAY5 15:35 ～ 16:35PanelistsTomoko Namba
DeNA Co., Ltd. Founder & Executive Chairman
KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation) Vice ChairYuka IwasakiYOUTRUST Inc.PresidentHibiki Nozawa
ZENKIGEN Inc. CEOCoordinatorYukako ItoEconomic News Editor of the Asahi Shimbun,Tokyo
Outline for 2021
- Day1 October 17 (Sun), 2021 13:00～
- Day2 October 18 (Mon), 2021 13:00～
- Day3 October 19 (Tue), 2021 13:00～
- Day4 October 20 (Wed), 2021 13:00～
- Day5 October 21 (Thu), 2021 13:00～
|Host||The Asahi Shimbun Company|
|Co-host||TV Asahi Corporation|
|Special Partners||The Asahi Glass Foundation, Aderans Co., Ltd., AEON Environmental Foundation, Suntory Holdings Ltd., Japan Tobacco Inc., Taiwan External Trade Development Council|
|Partners||SUMITOMO FORESTRY CO., LTD.|
|Special Cooperation||Imperial Hotel, Ltd., TV Asahi Productions Co., Ltd.|
|Cooperation||Global Compact Network Japan, Japan Marketing Association, The Asahi Gakusei Shimbun Company, CNET Japan, HuffPost Japan|
|Special Co-host||The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership; Institute for Future Initiatives, the University of Tokyo|
|Endorsement from||Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; Ministry of the Environment|
- All program contents including time, dates, and panelists are subject to change. Please check the latest information.