On June 21, the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations received twenty three high school students from William H. Hall High School in West Hartford, CT who were participating in a special summer program on Modern World History. Minister Nakamae briefed the group on various issues based on their interests and studies, followed by a Q&A session.
Minister Nakamae first touched upon the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011, noting Japan’s early warning system, the gratitude of Japan to the international community for their support and assistance, as well as their expression of solidarity during that time. He also highlighted the multiple factors which led to the unprecedented disasters and outlined Japan’s steps towards disaster prevention, notably the upcoming International Ministerial Conference on Disaster Prevention which will take place in the affected region of Japan and hosted by Foreign Minister Gemba in July this year.
The students also learned about Japan’s status regarding the global economic recession, as well as Japan’s efforts on combating terrorism. He explained that Japan’s strategy for counterterrorism is unlike the Western strategy in that Japan focuses on using state-building to promote the concept of “human security.” He noted that Japan leads the discussion and planning of a General Assembly resolution on human security which is expected to be adopted in the next few weeks at the United Nations.
Lastly, the Minister addressed environmental issues which the UN is negotiating on at Rio +20. He discussed Japan’s experience with pollution during the country’s industrial phase and the policies and technologies made to counter such environmental damage as a result. He pointed out that Japan has the least energy consumption per gross domestic product (GNP) among the major industrialized countries thanks to the technologies and energy-saving life styles, acquired after the experience of two oil crises.
Following his lecture, the students asked questions about energy issues, trade, and other topics enthusiastically. All of them seemed to be satisfied with the lecture.