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International Conference on Science and Tecnhnology for Sustainability 2009
- Global Food Security and Sustainability - >>Japanese

   Professor Ichiro Kanazawa, President, Science Council of Japan

As an organization representing Japan’s science community encompassing humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, the Science Council of Japan has been active in promoting institution design and policy implementation for sustainable development. The annual International Conference on Science and Technology for Sustainability has been a crucial part of our efforts since 2003, with a specific theme of great importance chosen for each year. The themes selected for this series of international conferences have been: Energy; Asian Megacities; Dynamism in Asia; Global Innovation Ecosystem; International Cooperation for Development; and Sustainable Human Well-Being. Scientists invited from in and out of Japan have engaged themselves in serious discussions on sustainable social institutions and viable policies, resulting in an accumulated body of knowledge and information as an invaluable intellectual property. This indeed has been the backbone of the societal activities of our Council.

Looking back over the past conferences, we now feel that it is high time to take up the food issue, indeed the very foundation of sustainable societies. The issue has been debated so far with a focus on food security, placing primary importance on individual nations and their national interests. In doing so, we have left aside a perspective of great import, that of (global food security) for the entire humanity. The only view we have taken into account in this debate has been that of growing world population.

In addressing ourselves to global food security, we need to keep in mind two crucial factors. The first is the need to attain inter-generational balance. The current generation has inherited the tangible and intangible assets from the past in carrying out our current socio-economic activities, while passing on our own tangible and intangible assets to ensuing generations. In this sense, every generation is a transitional entity. Time flies only in one direction, and changes that have been caused by past generations are irreversible. The mark we leave on the only environment we have is a classic example, with our dealings with the food issue inevitably leaving their mark on what we pass on to the next generation.

The second factor we need to heed to is the balance we must attain among all the human beings of the current generation. We suffer not only from international political and military conflicts but also from natural calamities of gross dimension, health hazards, and infection-causing new viruses. We should take into account of the need for food security in order to save human lives against foreseeable natural and social hazards. Food security should also be applied to the people in poverty and starvation.

It is my understanding that these two factors were fully considered I the conference. I look forward to a better understanding of the challenges we face and further high-lightening of the guidelines for institution designing and policy implementation through ample interactions between various fields of scientific endeavors on the basis of expert knowledge of all the participants.

Let me close my greetings by thanking Prof. Rattan Lal of the University of Ohio for his keynote address, and Prof. Keijiro Otsuka of Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development for his contribution. I would also like to express my gratitude to all the participants who took time and trouble of attending the Conference.

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