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October 2001

Tokyo Forum on Women and Foreign Nationals in Information Society*

The following is a summary of the keynote speech by Chairman Yotaro Kobayashi at the Tokyo Forum on October 16, 2001

Building a Knowledge-based Society with Active Participation by Foreigners

Yotaro KOBAYASHI (Chairman of the Board, Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.)

Mr. Yotaro KobayashiTo revitalize the Japanese economy in the future we need to transform the industry-oriented social system, which has been pursued successfully throughout the post-war period, into a new globalized, knowledge-based social system. As Professor Ikujiro Nonaka has pointed out, it is essential to have interactions among those who have different views and various backgrounds in order to create new knowledge. This has been clearly proven by the history of Silicon Valley in the U.S. Therefore, creation of new knowledge in a homogeneous country like Japan would require foreigners' viewpoints and backgrounds, which are different from those of the Japanese.

In view of this fact, Japan's first task is to build an attractive society for foreign knowledge workers, and to create an intellectual environment where foreigners' views and backgrounds are combined to create new knowledge.

Tokyo ForumAttractive business management for foreigners is a kind of management that can present a shared philosophy and vision, trusted by both Japanese and non-Japanese workers, and accommodate various work styles with no discrimination or exclusion.

As for education as the most important social infrastructure, it is necessary to emphasize liberal arts--including philosophy and history--in order to foster intellectual curiosity and respect for variety, as well as a deep understanding for different cultures and civilizations. With such emphasis in education, we can build a society that makes it possible to create new knowledge and wisdom by accepting foreigners and working with them.

*Tokyo Forum on Women and Foreign Nationals as Leaders in Information Society

Date: October 16, 2001
Place: The Japan Foundation International Conference Room in Tokyo
Organized by GLOCOM Platform
Sponsored by GLOCOM and The Japan Foundation
Cosponsor: The America-Japan Society, Inc.
In cooperation with The Japan Times

Opening Address: Hiroaki Fujii (President, the Japan Foundation)

Part 1: The Leadership Role of Women in Information Society

    Keynote Speaker:
    Saskia Sassen (Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago)
    Other Panelists:
    Aynur Unal (Chief Technology Officer, E2 Open, California)
    Rebecca Leung (Chief Operating Officer, Instinet Asia, Hong Kong)
    Merle Aiko Okawara (Chairman, JC Foodsnet Co. Ltd)
    Toshinari Ishii (GLOCOM Visiting Fellow, CAN Forum Manager)
    Takahiro Miyao (Professor, GLOCOM)

Part 2: The Importance of Foreign Nationals in Globalization Trends

    Keynote Speaker:
    Yotaro Kobayashi (Chairman of the Board, Fuji Xerox)
    Other Panelists:
    Vinnie Mehta (Director, MAIT, India)
    Toyoo Gyohten (President, Institute for International Monetary Affairs)
    Glen S. Fukushima (President, Cadence Design Systems, Japan)
    Emiko Magoshi (Professor, Tokyo Junshin Women's College)
    Takahiro Miyao (Professor, GLOCOM)

Concluding Remarks: Shumpei Kumon (Executive Director, GLOCOM)

Closing Address: Yoshio Ohkawara, President, The America-Japan Society

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