Network of East Asian Think-Tanks (NEAT)

The 7th Annual Conference of NEAT

The Network of East Asian Think- tanks (NEAT) held its 7th Annual Conference (AC) and 11th Country Coordinators Meeting (CCM) in Seoul, Korea from August 30 to September 1, 2009. The host was the Korean Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (KISEAS) and 37 specialists and experts representing different think tanks in the ASEAN+3 nations participated.

As for Japan, 7 participated, who were ITO Kenichi, President of the Council on East Asian Community (CEAC) and President & CEO of Japan Forum on International Relations (JFIR), HIRONO Ryokichi, Vice President of CEAC and Professor Emeritus of Seikei University, KAWAI Masahiro, Member of CEAC and Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute, KONISHI Masaki, Executive Vice President of CEAC and Acting Executive Director of JFIR, OHGA Keiji, Member of CEAC and Professor of Nihon University, SHINDO Eiichi, Vice President of CEAC and Professor Emeritus of Tsukuba University, YANO Takuya, Executive Secretary of CEAC and Senior Research Fellow of JFIR.

Prior to the AC and the CCM, five Working Groups (WGs) were established and have been conducting research activities on the topics of (1) East Asian Food Security (sponsored by Japan), (2) East Asian Environmental Cooperation (co-sponsored by Japan and Singapore), (3) East Asian Financial Cooperation (sponsored by China), (4) East Asian Investment Cooperation (sponsored by China), and (5) Enhancement of East Asian Cultural Exchange (sponsored by Korea). The AC and the CCM heard reports from the WGs, and, after heated discussions by all participants, adopted a set of policy recommendations to be submitted to the ASEAN+3 Summit to be held in Thailand in October.

It is noted that this year's NEAT policy recommendations as well retained an article saying, "The NEAT reaffirms that the goal of community building in East Asia should be to promote the welfare and well-being of the people and realize the East Asian vision of Peace, Prosperity and Progress. Community building should be based on universal values including good governance, the rule of law, democracy, human rights, and international law and norms. East Asian countries should promote these values as common goals."