RJIF held its fifth anniversary event featuring two panel discussions, “21st Century Think Tank Vision” and “Why Japan Matters,” and the commemorative reception

Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation (RJIF) held its fifth anniversary commemorative event on February 28, 2017, at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo.

We think of February 28th as RJIF’s true takeoff date. In the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident, we took the standpoint that independence was essential in order to seriously examine a crisis that threatened the survival of Japan. RJIF therefore launched the “Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Nuclear Accident,” and after receiving cooperation from many people we announced the completion of the Commission’s report at the Japan Press Club on February 28, 2012. The foundation was formally registered on September 28, 2011, but we think of this day – February 28, 2012 – as our founding anniversary.

Our commemorative event – two panel discussions, “21st Century Think Tank Vision” and “Why Japan Matters,” as well as the Commemorative reception – featured a wide range of people who have graciously supported and cooperated with RJIF’s activities over the past five years, including the heads of some of the world’s top think tanks, leaders from the policy and business communities, young businesspeople active both domestically and overseas, education officials, journalists, and social activists.

Session 1: 21st Century Think Tank Vision

Keynote Speech

Delivered by Dr. John Hamre (President and CEO, Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS], USA)

Panel Discussion

Moderator :
Dr. Yoichi Funabashi (Former Editor-in-Chief of the Asahi Shimbun and Chairman of RJIF)
Panelists :
Dr. John Hamre (President and CEO, CSIS)
Dr. Robin Niblett (Director, Chatham House, UK)
Dr. Hahm Chaibong (Director, Asan Institute for Policy Studies, South Korea)
Dr. Takeo Hoshi (Chair of the Board, Tokyo Foundation)

RJIF invited four heads from the world’s top think tanks. We discussed the expected roles of think tanks in a rapidly changing world, focusing on the think tank as an organization which conducts policy research and makes recommendations while remaining independent from their governments.


Dr. Hahm Chaibong (left)
Dr. Robin Niblett (right)

Session 2: Why Japan Matters


Mr. Martin Fackler (Research Fellow of RJIF and Former Tokyo Bureau Chief for the New York Times)

Panel Discussion

(and Panelist):
Ms. Maoko Kotani (Newscaster)
Panelist :
Hon. Shinjiro Koizumi (Member, House of Representatives)
Mr. Hisato Hamada (Founder and CEO, VIVA JAPAN Inc.)
Prof. Danqing Mao (Kobe International University, Dept. of International Culture, Business and Tourism)
Mr. W. David Marx (“AMETORA” author)

Actively participating in the world intellectual networks and their subject settings as well as sharing Japan’s efforts and experiences will be ever more important. In the session, five distinguished speakers from various fields and participants from the next generation leaders in the policy and business communities discussed how Japan can radiate its soft power towards rest of the world. We also organized a little soiree for networking during the session.

RJIF Research Fellow Martin Fackler

Hon. Shinjiro Koizumi

Ms. Maoko Kotani, Hon. Shinjiro Koizumi, Mr. Hisato Hamada, and Mr. W. David Marx (from left to right)

Session 3: Commemorative reception

Greeting by RJIF representatives

Dr. Yoichi Funabashi (Chairman)
Mr. Takeshi Niinami (Director)
Mr. M. James Kondo (President)

Mr. M. James Kondo, Dr. Yoichi Funabashi, and Mr. Takeshi Niinami
(from left to right)

Dr. Funabashi, introducing RJIF books, “Galapagos Cool” and “Personal networks and social resilience.”

Congratulatory speeches by guests of honor

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida
Dr. John Hamre (President and CEO, CSIS)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida

Dr. John Hamre (President and CEO, CSIS)

Text Message Screening

Mr. Strobe Talbott (President, Brookings Institution, USA)
Dr. Richard Haass (President, Council on Foreign Relations [CFR], USA)
Dr. John Chipman (Director-General and Chief Executive, International Institute for Strategic Studies [IISS], UK)
Dr. Fred Bergsten (Founding Director and Senior Fellow and Director Emeritus, Peterson Institute for International Economics [PIIE], USA)
Dr. Jessica Mathews (Former President and Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, USA)
Mr. Jean Marie Guehenno (President and CEO, International Crisis Group)
Dr. Chan Heng Chee (Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore)
Dr. Orville Schell (Arthur Ross Director, Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society)
Dr. Joseph Nye (University Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard University)
Ms. Irene Hirano Inouye (President, U.S.-Japan Council, USA)

Text Message