The Arctic Circle is the world's largest dialogue on the Arctic issues, which is consisted by the Assembly (annual meeting) held each October in Reykjavík and the irregular Forums (regional meetings).
At this Assembly, an ambitious Japanese session called “Science Meets Society: Toward The Co-Designing of Arctic Research” incorporating a dialogue with the Arctic indigenous people was held. In this session, Prof. U. Vinokurova (Arctic University of Art and Culture) was invited from the Sakha Republic, Russia with support by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and we had a good discussion on the collaboration between non-Arctic countries and the Arctic indigenous peoples. This is the first session in Arctic Circle Assembly that an Asian AC observer country has invited Arctic indigenous people.
In this Assembly, "the contribution of non-Arctic countries" (necessity) was declared everywhere. And my main task in this Assembly was exactly having meetings on the potential of Japanese contribution to AMBI (AC Working Group for Conservation of Arctic Fauna and Flora). Because Japanese monitoring and educational activities on migratory birds have been highly evaluated internationally, AMBI has proposed to Japan to have a workshop for sharing Japanese achievements and know-hows with other countries. Although many non-Arctic countries appealed how their countries would contribute to the Arctic communities, I was convinced at these meetings that Japan has something unique to contribute to the Arctic issues because of our accumulated science-based achievements.
During the plenary on the first day, Iceland's Minister of Education, Science and Culture, L.D.Alfreðsdóttir and the Japanese Ambassador in charge of Arctic affairs M.Miyoshi announced that ASM3 (the 3rd Arctic Science Ministerial Meeting) and also the Arctic Circle Japan Forum will be held in Tokyo this November. The Minister stated a tribute Japan for its collaboration with Siberia and contribution to biodiversity conservation in some reception party. Now, the world is expecting Japan's further contribution.
(Hokkaido University / A member of theme 6)