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東京大学公共政策大学院 | GraSPP / Graduate School of Public Policy | The university of Tokyo

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Diversity and Inclusiveness - APEC Voices of The Future

Miyuki Tsuru

申し訳ありません、このコンテンツはただ今 英語 のみです。 For the sake of viewer convenience, the content is shown below in the alternative language. You may click the link to switch the active language.

  As one of the selected Japanese youth delegates for the APEC Voices of the Future program, I was blessed with the opportunity to experience the annual youth forum (VoF), which was held concurrently with the APEC Summit 2016.  This annual forum allows youth from all around the Asia-Pacific to join and share different ideas, perspectives, and visions with other young leaders, ABAC members, and APEC leaders. With Brexit, rising populism, and increased concerns of economic and political instability of Asia-Pacific, I felt that this program attempted to answer to some of the timely issues and help guide me through how to deal with the rapid change the world is facing.

  The 7-day program consisted of 4 days of Youth delegate program followed by 3 days of the CEO summit. During the first 4 days, we presented our speech regarding the need for diversity in the labor force and the importance of the empowerment of women. Coincidentally, this year’s 4 delegates, including the educator herself (Kaori Kabata) female; and IMF chair, Christine Lagarde’s powerful speech about the need for empowerment of women in the workforce was quite significant; it reinforced how much the social fabric is changing and the role of the youth in shaping a more diverse and inclusive society.

  One of the most memorable moments we had was the opportunity to meet and greet with Mr. Taniguchi, a special adviser for the Cabinet who is also a speechwriter for Prime Minister Abe. He stated in our brief meeting “ PM Abe and myself will be old. What matters is not about what we try to achieve now, it’s about making changes so that we can reach a goal 20 years later. It is up to the youth and specifically talented females like you to shape our future.”  He emphasized that Japan should focus on leaving traditional ideals behind and be pragmatic to reach long-term goals. This was all in line with how I hoped Japan would look in 20 years time – and it was reassuring to hear from the Cabinet adviser himself – the need for diversity not merely as a moral obligation but the need for inclusiveness of marginalized workforce (such as LGBT, female working force and foreign workers) as a necessary solution for our rapidly aging society. Whether meeting with ABAC members, the Osaka gas representative of South East Asia (Mr. Yoshihiko Kimata), or with Mayor of San Marcos (Mr. Daniel Guerrero), I believe that the significance of VoF Forum lies in the opportunity for youths to be included as stakeholders in discussions with various parties – by interacting with leaders of both private and public sectors.

  Whilst APEC VoF 2016 may be only a week-long schedule, there are countless experiences that make up for the 30-hour long flight to Lima, Peru – including but not limited to their welcoming hospitality, the warm but breezy weather, and the local Peruvian cuisine. VoF allowed us to connect and personally interact with 14 economy youth delegates, enlightening me about their culture, language, vision, and their perception of the world. Interestingly, the diversity of the students came as a great surprise – there were students that ranged from high school to PhD, with disciplinary ranging from animal clinical studies and geography studies to international relations. Indeed, the APEC VoF Forum proved to be a lifetime opportunity for a student like myself to interact and learn from CEOs of Japan’s most successful companies, political figures, and young leaders all gathered from across the Pacific rim.

japanese-delegates-at-usil-for-vof-speechJapanese Delegates at USIL for VoF speech


group-photo-with-mr-taniguchiGroup photo with Mr. Taniguchi


city-tour-with-singaporean-and-peruvian-delegatesCity tour with Singaporean and Peruvian delegates