Japan's Goals in the 21st Century

The Frontier Within:

Individual Empowerment and Better Governance in the New Millennium


January 2000

The Prime Minister's Commission on
Japan's Goals in the 21st Century


Contents

Preface
Hayao Kawai

  1. Overview
  2. Prosperity and Dynamism
  3. Achieving a Contented and Enriching Life
  4. A Beautiful Country and a Safe Society
  5. Future of the Japanese
  6. Japan's Place in the World

Preface


This report represents the distillation of ten months of intensive discussion and debate by the Prime Minister's Commission on Japan's Goals in the 21st Century. Our aim was to elucidate Japan's challenges and policies as it moves into the next century from a medium- to long-term viewpoint.

Everyone recognizes that Japan is at a major turning point---one might even say a critical point. Based on that awareness, the report sets forth the new ideals and organizational principles with which Japan should equip itself for the twenty-first century, the qualities it is hoped the Japanese people will possess fifteen or twenty years hence, and the way to get there.

After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Japan, while working assiduously to catch up with and overtake the West, managed to retain at least some of its quintessentially Japanese qualities. Thanks to its efforts, Japan today is the only developed country from a non-Western cultural sphere. This is an achievement we can justly be proud of. But when we contemplate the power of globalization, which will envelop the whole world in the next century, we realize that Japan cannot afford to rest on its laurels.

It is fine for the Japanese to be proud of their nation's good qualities, but that does not mean wrapping a mantle of exclusivity around themselves; this pride must be open and expansive, oriented toward universality. If so, rather than stand still and pontificate on Japan's good qualities, should we not face the future of the world and engage with it body and soul? By so doing, even if sometimes we wrestle with contradictions, surely the good qualities of the Japanese---including latent strengths we ourselves are yet unaware of---will be honed into qualities possessing universality. If we live with such an attitude, we will come to see that Japan's frontier lies within.

On the basis of this way of thinking, the Commission has done its best to delineate the direction in which we should proceed and propose the policies we believe necessary. The report comprises six chapters. The first chapter, an overview, is the work of the commission as a whole. Chapters two through six represent the reports of the five subcommittees. We hope people will read the entire report, since doing so is important for grasping our vision for Japan in the twenty-first century as a whole.

Today, when diversity is valued, there is no single "right answer." This being so, we have considered Japan's direction and offered proposals in our own way, but of course this report represents just one way of thinking. We strongly hope that the report will serve as the catalyst of lively national debate and that a vision for Japan in the twenty-first century will steadily take shape among the people.

Hayao Kawai
Chairperson
Prime Minister's Commission on Japan's Goals in the 21st Century


Profile of the Prime Minister's Commission on
Japan's Goals in the 21st Century

On January 18, 2000, members of the Prime Minister's Commission on Japan's Goals in the 21st Century submitted its final report titled "The Frontier Within: Individual Empowerment and Better Governance in the New Millennium" to Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi after approximately ten months of intense deliberations and consultations. The Prime Minister established the Commission on March 30, 1999, appointing sixteen leading private citizens from diverse fields of expertise as its members (see the accompanying list). The mandate of the Commission was to produce a report for the Prime Minister on the desirable future direction of Japan to which the next generation of Japanese can aspire in the new century, thus encouraging a broader national debate on the subject.

The Commission comprised five subcommittees with thirty-three additional experts drawn from various fields (see the accompanying lists). Each subcommittee was assigned one of five themes: (1) Japan's Place in the World, (2) Prosperity and Dynamism, (3) Achieving a Contented and Enriching Life, (4) A Beautiful Country and a Safe Society, and (5) Future of the Japanese.

The Commission met four times and the subcommittees met forty times in the course of eight months, and Prime Minister Obuchi participated in eleven of those meetings. The Prime Minister also attended an overnight retreat held in the outskirts of Tokyo on August 6 and 7, 1999. In keeping with the Prime Minister's hope that the working process of the Commission be open to the public, minutes of the proceedings of the Commission and subcommittee meetings were posted on the Web site, and opinions and concrete recommendations were actively solicited from the public through e-mail and fax. Eighteen young leaders selected from those submitting policy proposals were invited to the Prime Minister's official residence on November 15, 1999, for a two-hour dialogue with the Prime Minister. In a similar vein, several key members of the Commission traveled abroad in October and November 1999 to undertake a series of consultations with intellectual leaders and political leaders of Southeast Asia (Singapore), North America (Washington, D.C.), South Korea, China, and Europe (Paris). The Commission members are planning to participate in various efforts to disseminate the Commission Report in the hope that the analysis and recommendations presented in the Report will stimulate a broad national debate as well as active external dialogue on the future direction of Japan.

Members of the Prime Minister's Commission on Japan's Goals in the 21st Century


Chairperson:
Hayao KawaiDirector-General, International Research Center for Japanese Studies
Members:
Akira AmanoPresident, Japan Pediatric Association
Tamotsu AsamiDeputy Managing Director, Chuokoron-Shinsha
Yoichi FunabashiChief Diplomatic Correspondent and Columnist, The Asahi Shimbun
Masako HoshinoDirector, Japan NPO Center
Makoto IokibeProfessor, Kobe University; President, The Japanese Political Science Association
Heita KawakatsuProfessor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies
Yotaro KobayashiChairman of the Board, Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.; Chairman, Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai)
Akira KojimaDirector and Editorial Page Editor, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun
Akira MiyoshiComposer; Director-General, Tokyo Metropolitan Festival Hall
Chiaki MukaiScience Astronaut, National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA)
Keiko NakamuraDeputy Director General, JT Biohistory Research Hall
Yuri OkinaSenior Economist, The Japan Research Institute
Takeshi SasakiProfessor and Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo
Tadashi YamamotoPresident, Japan Center for International Exchange;
Executive Director, Prime Minister's Commission on Japan's Goals in the 21st Century
Masakazu YamazakiPlaywright; Critic; Professor Emeritus, Osaka University

Members of the Subcommittees

(* member of the Commission)

Subcommittee 1
Japan's Place in the World


Chairperson:
*Makoto Iokibe Professor, Kobe University; President, The Japanese Political Science Association
Members:
Keiko Chino Editorial Writer, Sankei Shimbun
*Yoichi Funabashi Chief Diplomatic Correspondent and Columnist, The Asahi Shimbun
Shinichi Kitaoka Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo
Ryosei Kokubun Professor, Faculty of Law and Politics, Keio University
Hiroshi Nakanishi Associate Professor, Department of Law, Kyoto University
Natsuo Sekikawa Author; Critic
Yoshihide Soeya Professor, Faculty of Law and Politics, Keio University
Kurayoshi Takara Professor of History, College of Law and Letters, University of the Ryukyus
Akihiko Tanaka Professor, Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo

Subcommittee 2
Prosperity and Dynamism


Chairperson:
*Yotaro Kobayashi Chairman of the Board, Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.;
Chairman, Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai)
Members:
Mikio Akiyama Attorney at Law
Yoshinori Hiroi Associate Professor, Faculty of Law and Economics, University of Chiba
Mikiko Iwasaki Associate Professor, Institute of Social Science, University of Tsukuba
Haruo Naito President and CEO, Eisai Co., Ltd.
*Yuri Okina Senior Economist, The Japan Research Institute
Ken-ichiro Oohara President, Ohara Museum of Art
*Takeshi Sasaki Professor and Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo
*Tadashi Yamamoto President, Japan Center for International Exchange
Taizo Yakushiji Vice President and Professor, Keio University

Subcommittee 3
Achieving a Contented and Enriching Life


Chairperson:
*Keiko Nakamura Deputy Director General, JT Biohistory Research Hall
Members:
*Masako Hoshino Director, Japan NPO Center
Takenori Inoki Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University
*Akira Kojima Director and Editorial Page Editor, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun
Taro Maki Journalist; Reporter, Mainichi Newspaper
Hiroko Minami President and Professor, College of Nursing Art & Science, Hyogo
Yoichiro Murakami Professor, International Christian University
Ken Sakamura Professor, Digital Museum Laboratory, University Museum, University of Tokyo
Naomi Sento Film Director

Subcommittee 4
A Beautiful Country and a Safe Society
Chairperson:
*Heita Kawakatsu Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies
Members:
*Akira Amano President, Japan Pediatric Association
*Tamotsu Asami Deputy Managing Director, Chuokoron-Shinsha
Mie Hama Actress
Masaaki Homma Vice President; Professor and Director of Economics, Osaka University
Toyo Ito Architect
Koharu Kisaragi Playwright; Art Director
Reiko Kuroda Professor, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo
Takafumi Matsui Professor, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo
Kazuhiro Ueta Professor of Environmental Economics and Public Finance, Graduate School of Economics, Kyoto University

Subcommittee 5
Future of the Japanese


Chairperson:
*Masakazu Yamazaki Playwright; Critic; Professor Emeritus, Osaka University
Members:
Takashi Mikuriya Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
Yuko Miyazaki Attorney at Law
*Akira Miyoshi Composer; Director-General, Tokyo Metropolitan Festival Hall
*Chiaki Mukai Science Astronaut, National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA)
Emiko Ochiai Associate Professor, International Research Center for Japanese Studies
Hatsuhisa Takashima Executive Controller-General, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
Kiyotada Tsutsui Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Kyoto University
Kiyokazu Washida Professor, Graduate School of Letters, Osaka University

Office for the Prime Minister's Commission on Japan's Goals in the 21st Century, Cabinet Secretariat


Director: Jun Wada
Assistant Directors: Satoshi Ashidate, Kazuya Endo, Yoshihiro Hashimoto, Seiichi Inoue, Kenji Okamura, Kotaro Omae, Taizo Takahashi
Staff: Nobuo Iijima, Tomoko Suzuki