First round-table conference on Arctic between government officials and researchers was held on Monday, 5th February 2018.
Prior to this epoch making round-table conference, Keiji Ide who is the Japan's Ambassador in charge of Arctic Affairs and some officials from the Ocean and Earth Division in the Research and Development Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) attended at Roundtable discussion on Arctic Council and its working groups which was held on Thursday, 19th October 2017 as a part of research activity of Dispatch of Experts menu and Theme7: People and Community in the Arctic: Possibility of Sustainable Development of the ArCS project. It was triggered to hold this round-table conference. There were about 50 participants consisting of about 30 researchers, mainly from ArCS participants, and 20 government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Cabinet Office, MEXT and other ministries.
At the meeting, information was provided from both the government side and the researcher side on following three topics, and opinions were exchanged on each;
- Recent topics on Arctic issue
- Arctic Council and its working groups
- First and second Arctic Science Ministerial(ASM)
As the first time, the content of the exchange of opinions included not only the three topics above, but also a wide range of topics on the Arctic. Overall, both participants enjoyed a frank dialogue.
This round-table conference will be held about twice a year. More active opinion exchange on the specific topic such as Arctic Council and its working groups or ASM is expected after the next round-table conference.