Themed `New Asia and New Europe,’ the 1st EU-Japan-Asia Journalists Conference was organised from 6th-9th April in Fukuoka, Japan by ASEF and the Delegation of the European Commission in Japan.
Former ASEAN Secretary-General Mr. Rodolfo C. Severino delivered the keynote address on the future of ASEAN in the 21st century, providing the historical and socio-economical background of ASEAN, as well as the current ASEAN+3 process. His address led to a stimulating discussion on the comparison of the EU and the ASEAN mode of integration as well as discussions on national sovereignty in the wake of globalisation.
Wide ranging discussions among the participants covered: security issues; Japan’s foreign policy; trade, economic development and progress; governance; and democracy. Felix Soh, Deputy Editor of The Straits Times, Singapore presented a poll he conducted amongst the Asian journalists. He stressed that there was not enough understanding between the media of Asia and Europe which often led to reports from the European media that were factually accurate but lacking in depth of understanding of Asian societies and political systems. He added that conferences such as this Journalists Conference are good platforms to bridge the lack of understanding.