From the Foundation
Toyota Foundation co-organized “Intercultural Forum in Nagoya”
update：September 12, 2014
Mr. Hidenori Yano, President of NIC
From 23rd to 24th August, 2014 “Intercultural Conference in Nagoya: Moving towards a Prosperous Local Community” was held at Nagoya International Center. It was co-organized by the Toyota Foundation and Nagoya International Center (NIC)and with the support from Cabinet Office of Japan, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Council of Local Authorities for Foreign Relations (CLAIR), Aichi Prefecture, and City of Nagoya.
Mr. Taro Tamura
The Forum intended to collect best practices of social inclusion of migrants at local communities throughout Japan, so that others could emulate. It received strong public attention and on the first day over 200 audiences attended. Following Mr. Hidenori Yano, President of NIC’s opening remarks, the audiences enjoyed Rakugo (Japanese traditional comedy talk) in Nihongo, performed by Professor Nishanta of Sri Lankan origin. Also presented were the panel discussion and lecture by Prof. Nishanta, Ms. Sahel Rose, an actress of Iranian origin, and Mr. Taro Tamura, a noted advocator.
Ms. Atsuko Toyama, President of the Toyota Foundation
The second day was mainly for practitioners and policy makers, and it enjoyed over 120 participants. After the opening remarks from Ms. Atsuko Toyama, President of the Toyota Foundation, and Professor Keizo Yamawaki’s keynote speech, it moved to three breakout sessions. They focused on such topics as public education system, policy and community, and connecting people. In the end, Professor Yamawaki and others summarized the information and lessons in the sessions, and participants adopted “Nagoya Message towards Future Local Community”, which enhanced the need for inclusion of residents with foreign backgrounds in local communities, and the importance of dialogue between different stakeholders.
Professor Keizo Yamawaki
The forum was in a good position to receive insightful comments from guests from other Asian countries (Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines). Thanks to these inputs, we could learn both strength and weakness of our practices, comparing with those of the neighbors.
It was also a great learning experience for the Toyota Foundation, and we shall continue to organize this kind of events, both to disseminate the outstanding results from the Foundation programs, as well as to provide a space for people to connect each other who work on similar issues in different communities and countries.(Ken Aoo, Program Officer, Group for International Grants)
Participants representatives reading out the “Nagoya Message”