JLGC is proud to be supporting this year’s Okinawa Day, which will be held on Saturday 22 June at London’s Spitalfields Market. Last year’s Okinawa Day saw 8,000 visitors — this year dance, martial arts and music performance will once again showcase the unique culture and food of Japan’s southernmost island prefecture.
Learn more about the all-day event at the official website.
Friday 29th March
Japan Foundation, London
The Japan Foundation is pleased to present this special public seminar to mark the two year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Dr Simon Avenell (Australian National University) will examine the role played by volunteers following the triple disaster. In particular, he will trace the evolution of disaster volunteering since the Kobe Earthquake of 1995, looking closely at the ways state and civic organizations have helped to build a robust and responsive disaster volunteer infrastructure. Avenell will explain how, despite the substantial differences in scale and logistical complexity of the 2011 disaster compared to other recent natural calamities in Japan, evidence suggests that the volunteering experience of Kobe, coupled with intervening disaster preparation, proved crucial for government officials and civic activists who cooperated to organize a swift and efficient volunteering response after 3.11.
Following this, architect Dr Osamu Tsukihashi (Kobe University) will introduce his Lost Homes Project – an initiative through which local communities in the affected areas collected and recorded memories of places lost to the tsunami so that they may be passed on to the next generation. Tsukihashi will explain how people’s memories give towns a special sense of place, and that it is this sense of place living on through memory that has become a source of psychological support to those in the affected areas. Tsukihashi will show how the act of recording and passing on memories of places destroyed by the tsunami is an indispensable part of the process of creating new living environments in the disaster area.
This event will be chaired by Dr Geoff O’Brien from the Disaster and Development Centre, Northumbria University.
Following the formal proceedings, refreshments will be served including two varieties of Urakasumi – a famous Japanese sake from the Tohoku region.
This event is free but prior booking is essential. To reserve a place, please contact email@example.com with your name, details and those of any guests.
This week JLGC assisted a visit to English cities by former JLGC Director Shigeru Naiki, who is now a Professor within the Department of Regional Economics at Teikyo University in Japan. Professor Naiki visited Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool to research the consequences of the Localism Act on their city governance, in particular the elected mayor system but also City Deals and city regional working, hearing about the ‘Yes’ vote in Bristol and ‘No’ vote in Birmingham in last May’s city referendums, as well as Liverpool’s voluntary shift to the elected mayor model. He also visited the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Birmingham, where he is Honorary Research Fellow, as well as the Local Government Association.
A participant on JLGC’s recent Japan Study Tour to Nagasaki, Guardian Local Government Network editor Hannah Fearn has a piece in today’s Society Guardian on Nagasaki’s green deal:
“Yet, unlike many British cities, Nagasaki has a convincing vision for its future. Its prefectural government (comparable to a large county council or combined regional authority) has set out a ¥42bn (£295m) “green deal” for the region that links plans to increase tourism and improve its record on sustainability to its economic and industrial future.
The plan is this: make up the population gap by encouraging tourism and use the tourist industry to spread sustainable behaviour such as driving electric vehicles (on Goto, for example, all hire cars are already EV or PHV vehicles). Then use this expertise in eco-sustainability to develop a new industry in green technology (Mitsubishi is already gathering expertise in offshore wind) to create jobs. If this “green deal” succeeds, it could convince the Japanese government to site a new offshore green energy hub within the prefecture, turning the region’s fortunes around.
As Takahiro Suzuki, director general of the Nagasaki prefectural government, says: “This is a challenge to create a new society model from the island region … harnessing Nagasaki’s character and strengths to simultaneously promote twin goals of industrial development and job creation, and lowering carbon and going green.”
You can read the article here.
At the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development last year, the Government of Japan was the lead organiser of the ‘Future Cities We Want – Linking and Spreading Sustainable Future Cities’ side event (alongside Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the City of Yokohama), which examined the potential for Japan’s own ‘FutureCity’ Initiative as a means through which to spread knowledge globally to bring about more human-centred settlements for the future.
This weekend, the Japanese government will host the 2nd International Forum on the FutureCity Initiative. This is intended to allow for the dissemination of the initiative’s platform for global knowledge, as well as expand and deepen its global network. It will showcase the leading practices of the 11 Japanese municipalities participating in the initiative, in addition to other global partner projects, as well as discuss their practicality for wider use and implementation. The event will be held in Shimokawa, Hokkaido, a small town of only 3,600 residents which strives to utilize local assets to realize a true ‘FutureCity’. A full programme for the event can be viewed here (PDF).
A full list of the 11 selected FutureCity projects is available here. Other English language resources for interested readers include (all PDF):
On February 28, the ‘Building smart communities in TOHOKU together with the World: collaborating with and spreading to the international community’ international seminar will be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo, full details of which can be viewed here.
The Japan Smart City Portal, also profiling four Japanese smart cities, is operated by the New Energy Promotional Council.
Japan400 marks the 400th anniversary of the first contacts between Britain and Japan, recalling the voyage of the East India Company to Japan in 1613 which led to a successful and stable relationship between our two island nations, which endures and prospers to this day. What began with an exchange of gifts between the British King and Japanese Shogun continues as an enduring partnership felt in homes and high streets, the cultural, industrial and commercial worlds.
2013 will see special events exploring the adventurous spirit behind those first exchanges and building on the two countries’ flourishing present-day relationship in art, science, trade, enterprise, high technology and lifestyle. Highlights of the year will include Anjin, a modern play at Sadler’s Wells Theatre about the real-life “English samurai”, William Adams, opening in late January, and a major autumn exhibition of Japanese prints, known as ‘Shunga’, at the British Museum.
Four cities in Japan connected by William Adams himself will host events to honour his contribution to bilateral relations between the two countries, 400 years after the founding of the first English Trading Post in Japan at Hirado in northern Nagasaki. The four cities are:
1. Usuki, Oita Prefecture – where Adams arrived by Dutch ship in 1600
2. Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture – where he constructed the first western-style ships in Japan
3. Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture – where he was granted a fiefdom for his work as an adviser to Shogun Ieyasu
4. Hirado, Nagasaki Prefecture – the first Dutch and English trading posts in Japan in 1613 and Adams’ final resting place in 1620
The Japan400 Press Launch showcased the eye-opening events to be held to mark, celebrate and explore this special relationship, which is supported by the Japan Local Government Centre in London. You can read more at the Japan400 website.
We have now produced a ‘Local Japan’ briefing detailing the scale and presence of local cycle hire schemes in Japan, including an overview of their size and ubiquity.
Click here to read (PDF)
The briefing was assembled by Keisuke Hamada during his time on secondment to our office studying the London Cycle Hire Scheme, using data from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. His colleague Go Nagata, also from CLAIR Headquarters, studied culture and urban development this autumn, in particular the case of Liverpool as European Capital of Culture.
Film event and panel discussion at SOAS. Time: 14:00 – 16:00 + networking time from 16:00-16:45. Date: Sun, 11 November 2012
A one day film and talk event attended by Governor of Miyagi Yoshihiro Murai, the prefecture in Japan hit hardest by the 2011 tsunami and earthquake, will be held in London at SOAS reflecting on the events of 2011 and to look at how lives are being rebuilt for those affected by the disaster. The day will include a screening of the documentary film The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (38min) / 2012 Academy Award-nominated documentary (Short Subject), directed by British documentary maker Lucy Walker, filmed in the immediate aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami which happened on 11 March 2012. The film portrays how the “Survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan’s recent tsunami find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins. A stunning visual poem about the ephemeral nature of life and the healing power of Japan’s most beloved flower…”
The screening will then be followed by a talk given by Governor of Miyagi Yoshihiro Murai, and a panel discussion with the aim of raising awareness of the fast-changing needs of the support for recovery in the disaster hit area. There will also be discussion of the role of the British volunteer activities in the recovery plan and how to facilitate supporting charitable activities. It will be followed a networking event after the panel discussion, with the opportunity to sample sake from Tohoku. The event schedule can be found here, as can the entry form for attendance.
Image: Fukuoka Busan Cafe (click larger)
Last week JLGC assisted a visit to Kent County Council from the Kyushu Economic Research Center. The Kyushu researcher, Mr Kabu, visited Kent to learn more about their cross-channel partnership with Nord-Pas de Calais and West Flanders on account of Kyushu’s own active link to neighbouring Korea. The Kent-France co-branded link up around tourism and economic promotion originated from preparations for the Channel Tunnel rail link and has since become an EU-funded programme with an annual political meeting between Kent and Nord-Pas de Calais. Mr Kabu exchanged views with Kent international affairs staff and the council’s deputy leader Alex King, who was instrumental in developing the partnership, around the Fukuoka-Busan link. In 2009, on the 20th anniversary of the cross-strait partnership between the Japanese and Korean cities, Fukuoka and Busan agreed to develop the Busan-Fukuoka Economic Cooperation Council into a common economic zone.
JLGC continues its proud association with the Japan Matsuri with a stall at this weekend’s festival, showcasing the best that Japan’s cities and regions have to offer. You can read more about the event, held in the world famous Trafalgar Square, at the Japan Matsuri website.