PRIME symposium “World Military Expenditure and Japan’s Choices”
This first Japanese Prepcomm for the Berlin congress was held on January 31, 2016 under the auspices of Meijigakuin University. Professor Takao Takahara (International Peace Research Institute (PRIME), Faculty of International Studies) put together an interesting programme.
The speakers examined first the global picture of military expenditure (Colin Archer, IPB), and US spending and research funding for military projects (Subrata Ghoshroy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), then at PM Abe’s new reforms of Japanese military policy (Akira Kawasaki, Peace Boat), and finally militarisation of outer space (Atsushi Fujioka, Ritsumeikan University).
The symposium was attended by some 60 participants, both students and activists, and was moderated by Prof. Takahara himself and Yayoi Tsuchida of Gensuikyo. While the meeting did not formulate any specific conclusions, the presentations are worth reading as background material on these important and indeed complex topics.
PRIME plans to come up with further public fora like this one, before and perhaps also after, the Berlin Congress, since, according to Prof Takahara, “the topic is especially important in the contemporary Japanese context; we might observe a major change to our demilitarized economy and society.”