Special Advisor Dr. Kitaoka Delivers "JICA Chair Special Lecture" in Thailand


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Lecture site (1): King Prajadhipok's Institute
Title: Recent developments of Japan's security and foreign policy and Southeast Asia
Date: Monday, September 12, 9:30 - 11:30
Organizer: JICA and King Prajadhipok's Institute
Place: Lecture Center, King Prajadhipok's Institute
Participants: Officials in government section and business sections

Lecture place (2): Chulalongkorn University
Title: Meiji Restoration: Start of Full-scale Modernization of Japan
Date: Tuesday, September 13, 9:00 - 11:00
Organizer: JICA and Chulalongkorn University
Place: Conference Room, Chulalongkorn University
Participants: Students and scholars of relevant programs/courses of Faculty of Political Science and Faculty of Arts

Background and Objectives

In September 2022, Dr. KITAOKA Shinichi, Special Advisor to the President (former President) of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), visited Thailand to give "JICA Chair Special Lecture" at King Prajadhipok's Institute and Chulalongkorn University.
This was the second time for Chulalongkorn University following the one held in March 2022, and the first time for King Prajadhipok's Institute. The event ended on a high note with a lively exchange of questions and answers with the participants.

Summary of the Special Lecture and Q&A Session

King Prajadhipok's Institute
Special Advisor Dr. Kitaoka gave an overview of the foreign policy of Japan including Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) and defense and security policy reforms implemented by former Prime Minister Abe. He emphasized the importance of strengthening cooperation between Japan and ASEAN countries, which share common challenges in the current international situation, and introduced his own concept "Western Pacific Union".
During the Q&A session, a lively discussion ensued regarding the role of Southeast Asia under the Crisis due to the Situation in Ukraine and the feasibility of "Western Pacific Union".
He expressed his expectations for Thailand to play a more active role in the international community. He pointed out the lack of opportunities for free and active discussion by public intellectuals between Japan and Individual countries in Southeast Asia, highlighted the need to revitalize this through various opportunities such as JICA chair.

Chulalongkorn University
Special Advisor Dr. Kitaoka mentioned the similarities in the history of modernization between Japan and Thailand, the strength and importance of the current bilateral relationship including people-to-people exchanges. He explained the political system and social circumstances of the Edo period, which were preconditions for the Meiji Restoration and the key success factor of Japan's modernization, such as assignments of human resources and absorption of foreign knowledge during the Meiji Restoration.
During the Q&A session, participants asked about the background of Japan's rapid modernization and the key of maintaining the Japanese traditions and culture during modernization.