May.21.2023 KIP Forum "Post-Ukraine: What Will Happen to the World, What Will Happen to Japan?"

Mr. Hatsuhisa Takashima, the Former Representative of the Japan International Broadcasting Inc.

【Speech and Q&A】

The day of this month’s speech made by Mr. Takashima, who had led the media and broadcasting industries of Japan and the world, was the last day of the G7 Hiroshima Summit by chance. At the beginning of his speech, he referred to the historic day when Ukrainian President Zelensky came to attend the summit meetings in person. Also, he stated that the gathering of the leaders of free nations to discuss issues was a symbol of motive power that moved the world and that movements to support countries in difficulty were great things.
Currently, due to some factors such as the rise of China, “the greatest change in a century” is coming in the international society, in which the U.S. remained the sole power after the Cold War. It means that the U.S. does not dominate the world, as it did in the latter half of the 20th century, that the world is starting to move against the will of the U.S., and that a new era is coming to us.
After that, Mr. Takashima, who mentioned Ukraine and Russia, talked about the present situation of the invasion based on his analysis including the situation of European countries’ military support for Ukraine, and noted that the two countries were in a situation of checking each other. Moreover, he touched on the future international situation: how each country in the world will cope amid the intermingling of the Russian side’s desire to invade the territory and the Ukrainian side’s desire to fight for its own defense.
In the Q&A session, we were able to learn the topic more deeply because Mr. Takashima courteously answered questions about the role of Japan in the future international society and the “dark” side that was not covered in the coverage.

【Group discussion and Ground discussion】

The discussion of “Should media be neutral?” was heated in both the groups and the whole. Each member made their own ideas by thinking of the following questions: what is “media” in this context, what does “neutrality” mean, and is it possible to be “neutral” in the first place? However, each individual had different ideas, and thus my group was divided into two sides. We, against each opposite side, contributed to the discussion with a sense of ownership by describing concepts to the other side using examples, because media was closely connected with our life. Even in the whole discussion, the opinions differed from group to group, but we were able to exchange ideas and build constructive discussions. The discussions that got to the heart of the theme were developed from multiple perspectives including the viewpoint of the role of the media (specifically, mass media) in accurately conveying facts for the public; the viewpoint of the receivers such as viewers and readers, who ultimately judge the information; the viewpoint of a different attitude, like sincerity, that information should be communicated separately from facts and opinions. In addition, I would like to add that the contrast between the Internet media represented by social media and traditional mass media was also a key to the discussion.
As an overall comment, Mr. Takashima gave his opinion on the importance of conveying necessary data clearly in detail and of focusing on the receivers of the information.

【Personal Opinion】

I have felt two main things throughout the forum. The first one is about international relations and peace. Recently, KIP dealt with themes of international relations. This indicates that the necessity for us to look at the “outside” has been growing (this is a necessary attitude for “an international-oriented person”). We can learn from history that a substantial number of wars have broken out between nations due to differences in ideologies, races, and languages. I have keenly felt that not only the leaders who visited Hiroshima but each of us should have the attitude toward the pursuit of peace intentionally in order to abolish tragic events in which people on the same planet kill others.
The second thing is about the role of media. As for me, who would like to engage in the media industry in the future, this month’s forum was an opportunity to consider the existence of media. Media plays a great role in individuals and societies. How will I get along with such media, and how will I operate it? I would like to consider the importance of connections between senders and receivers again and make future learning more meaningful.
Each of Mr. Takashima’s words was greatly dignified and touching. This is because, I guess, Mr. Takashima himself experienced times of social upheaval and because his words were reflections of his belief to convey information precisely and quickly as a journalist. I wanted to conclude the report of the May forum by introducing content that especially impressed me — war is the worst thing that humans continue to bear. It is an eternal challenge to reduce the “evil.”

Shuta Okuaki, The University of Tokyo, Natural Science I, 1st year