Purpose for the Establishment of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation
The Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation was launched as a response to the widespread devastation unfolding in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck eastern Japan in March 2011.
These dual disasters were vivid reminders of the horrors that can be wrought by the destructive power of nature. However, the devastating crisis is not confined to those areas directly hit by the earthquake and tsunami. It is not an overstatement to say that, following a 20-year period of decline, the whole of Japan is in a crisis stemming from stagnation and distortions evident throughout Japanese society. Whether in terms of intellectual capacity, policies or politics, we are standing at a critical moment in this country’s history stretching back to our defeat in World War II. Japan is now stuck at an impasse without any clear signposts for a way to pull itself out of the crisis.
We believe that what needs to be done from a long-term perspective is not to stop at repairing the direct damage from the earthquake and tsunami. Rather, we must uncover and dissect the fundamental causes and structure of the crisis over the “Lost 20 Years”, draw pertinent lessons from the rubble, and pave the way toward restoring and rebuilding our country and society. For this purpose, it is imperative that we have new initiatives and new people to undertake the responsibility in all fields − including the development of new ideas, strategies, policies, decision-making processes, networking, communications, and, above all else, leadership.
On the other hand, embracing globalization is also vital to keeping up with modern times. Traditionally, policy debates in Japan have been confined to issues within our borders. This has resulted in Japan being left behind in global agenda setting and our national interests being undermined. Furthermore, considering the rising of developing countries and the surfacing of a “new world order” driven by globalization, Japan cannot avoid losing its international status further if the status quo is maintained. To rebuild Japan, we need an intellectual incubator that can engage at the center of the global intellectual network to collectively identify key issues, convey the initiatives being undertaken in Japan, share experiences and narratives unique to the country, form constructive partnerships, and exert a meaningful influence in the world.
The role of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation is to be a “Think Tank Complex”, combining the multiple functions of networking, media relations and an intellectual club around the think tank function at its core. At this historical turning point, not only in Japan but also for the world at large, we aim to become an intellectual incubator to develop ideas for the regeneration of Japan − and to ultimately bring those ideas to fruition.