New Year's Wish for GLOCOM Platform 2004
Shumpei KUMON (Executive Director, GLOCOM)
At the beginning of the new year, I would like to take a moment to look outward as well as inward with regard to GLOCOM Platform activities in the future.
Looking outward, we have been witnessing the war against terrorism and we find the world full of risks and unexpected events. Military, economic and information factors are interacting with each other to create such an unpredictable situation around us. Even in this uncertain world, Japan is expected to make a firm decision to contribute to regional and global stability for the sake of Japan and the global community.
If that is the case, there should be an increasing need for Japan to express its opinions and to explain its policies as clearly as possible to the outside world in order to avoid any misunderstandings about the nation's intentions and determination. The ways in which Japan will participate in global efforts in dealing with underlying problems such as poverty and tyranny, which tend to spread terror in the world, should be made clear.
Toward this end, our GLOCOM Platform activities must play an important role in disseminating Japan's representative opinions on global issues relating to Japan. Fortunately, quite a large number of prominent opinion leaders have contributed articles and other contents to the GLOCOM Platform. However, we need more debate on various issues in order to reflect the actual distribution of different opinions among Japanese people, who are by no means monolithic in thinking as might be widely believed outside of Japan.
Looking inward, I would like to make clear the fact that GLOCOM is part of the IUJ (International University of Japan) group, although this relationship has not always been recognized explicitly even among IUJ members. However, the new chairman of IUJ, Mr. Yotaro Kobayashi, pointed out in his opening remarks at our GLOCOM Forum held in December, 2003, that "GLOCOM is an integral part of the IUJ family and should be recognized as such (http://www.glocom.org/special_topics/activity_rep/20031204_miyao_gf/)."
In this context, the GLOCOM Platform could play a crucial role in bridging the existing gap between GLOCOM and IUJ, because English is used as the main working language in both the GLOCOM Platform and IUJ activities, and also because international relations and management are among the major subject matters on the GLOCOM Platform just as they are at IUJ. In contrast, much of the research activity at GLOCOM is focused on the subject of information and telecommunications, mainly conducted in the Japanese language.
In fact, the new president of IUJ, Mr. Ippei Yamazawa, has contributed an important article to the GLOCOM Platform titled "Between the Ideal and Reality of International Education"
(http://www.glocom.org/opinions/essays/20031120_yamazawa_between/). Other essays have been contributed by IUJ faculty such as Dr. Jay Rajasekera and Dr. Tomohito Shinoda. These are good examples that other IUJ members should follow.
In any case, the most important thing for the GLOCOM Platform is to keep posting original and insightful contents with the help of GLOCOM researchers and IUJ faculty members for the purpose of showing the Platform as a leading opinion site, GLOCOM as a leading research institute and IUJ as a leading graduate school in the globalized world. This would also serve our purpose of creating good e-learning contents to allow us to take advantage of the expanding education market.
If the GLOCOM Platform succeeds in meeting these expectations from outside as well as from inside the IUJ group, it will substantially increase its presence and deserve an independent status along with GLOCOM within the IUJ group, while strengthening its tie with IUJ, possibly as an important means for IUJ's online education program to be developed in the near future. This should be the new year's wish for the GLOCOM Platform.