Message from the 23rd JASID Spring Conference Executive Committee

Date: the 18th of June, 2022, Saturday

Venue: Fukuoka Prefectural University (Online conference)

Main theme: “Do you know, we have already been doing SDGs”

Today, there is a shift from the age of unilateral aid offered by developed countries to the era of learning through the experiences of developing countries, and even to the new period of global challenges symbolised by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which do not make a distinction between the terms ‘developed’ or ‘developing’. Thus, in Japan, to promote the rebirth of rural areas in accordance with SDGs, local authorities have been increasing efforts to achieve the goals. Simultaneously, it is difficult to say that our efforts to achieve SDGs are not in our daily reality as there was a rapid surge of manual books on SDGs. In addition, there is a concern that the efforts by private corporations and public sectors are superficial and hypocritical.

With the year 2030 as the deadline for the realisation of truly sustainable societies, how and for what should the public, private, entities and citizens cooperate? What kind of knowledge, experiences, information, and agenda is Japan Society for International Development (JASID) required to send out?

The city of Tagawa, Fukuoka, hometown of Fukuoka Prefectural University, used to be a coal-producing area, and it was a driving force for Japan’s modernization and reconstruction. It also experienced a rapid decline in the 1960s after the energy theft. However, 60 years have passed, and Tagawa has recovered from the mine pollution and is trying to establish the foundation for the new economy to stabilize daily life. In other words, it has been a frontline of challenges for the rural rebirth.

In the plenary session, we invite the resident doers struggling to achieve the rebirth of Tagawa. Discussing together in a blunt and frank way, it would enable us to envisage development and global cooperation for the next generation.

For this conference, the ‘Team Fukuoka’ organised itself beyond the boundary of universities, and it prepared live presentations, but considering current circumstances, it must be presented in the form of an online conference using Zoom. As for the plenary session, panel discussants are on site, and participants are virtually connected in a hybrid way for the sake of lively discussions. We are looking forward to seeing you online.

Chairperson of the 23rd JASID Spring Conference Executive Committee,

Mayuko SANO, Ph.D. (Fukuoka Prefectural University)