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Japan should find innovative solutions through trial and error -JICA President KITAOKA Shinichi talks with Professor IIO Jun of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)-

June 19, 2020

On Jun. 19, JICA President KITAOKA Shinichi had an online discussion with Dr. IIO Jun, professor of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japan, who specializes in contemporary Japanese politics. This dialogue was conducted as a part of the research project titled "International Cooperation in the Post-Corona World" by JICA, designed to examine the future of the world and international cooperation through a series of dialogues between Dr. Kitaoka and intellectuals inside and outside Japan.

At the beginning, Dr. Kitaoka said that the corona crisis should be considered as an opportunity to critically review the Japanese governance system, and asked Dr. Iio to express his opinion in this regard. In response, Dr. Iio presented his assessment on the current situation of Japanese politics and the possible ways to improve it.

Dr. Iio argued that, in order for the governance system to function well, political parties need to effectively absorb and consolidate public opinion and to formulate public policies by making the most of the diverse wisdom in Japan. He pointed out that, to do that, both ruling and opposition parties in Japan need to network with voters to draw together increasingly diverse public opinion. He also argued that the central government of Japan should rebuild the cooperative relationship with the private sector and local governments so that it can encourage their ingenuity and originality. He suggested that the Japanese government should take advantage of the "Japanese model," in which government and society has a cooperative relationship.

Dr. Iio also said that Japan is facing problems that no country has yet solved, and therefore Japan should seek innovative solutions through trial and error, by combining Japan's own strengths and lessons learned from other countries.

Following on, Dr. Iio, Dr. Kitaoka and the members of the research project exchanged views on such issues as the relationship of central government with local governments and with the private sector, and the role of common values in an increasingly divided world.

Now that all countries in the world face unprecedented difficulties amid the corona crisis, this dialogue confirmed the critical importance of governments making the most of diverse national wisdom through internal discussions and of finding innovative solutions through trial and error.