Taiwan wants talks with Japan in disputed waters

(May 2nd, 2016) Taiwan has urged Japan to engage with it in talks over disputed waters around the island of Okinotori.


The request follows Japan’s seizure of a Taiwanese fishing boat.

At issue is whether Japan is entitled to a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone surrounding Okinotori.

UNESCO official promotes global citizenship education

( May 2nd, 2016) Qian Tang, UNESCO’S Assistant Director General for Education, emphasized ‘’the immense need for social cohesion and intercultural dialogue in these turbulent times.’’ He spoke as a representative of UNESCO’s Director General at the 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.


Mr. Tang  discussed UNESCO’s challenges in seeking to promote peace, eradicate  poverty and  expand sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, high and popular culture and mass media. He reiterated the central role of education as the world faces ‘’the real danger of losing young women and men to violent extremism and forced migrations (…) There is no stronger foundation [than Education] for recovery, and reconciliation.’’

He added that, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, notably SDG 4 on education, UNESCO works toward “inclusive and equitable quality education and {to} promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’’

He  emphasized that Global Citizenship Education ‘’nurtures respect for all, a sense of belonging to a common humanity and helps learners become responsible global citizens in a diverse and increasingly complex world.’’

The Boston Global Forum has been heavily involved in promoting the concepts of global citizenship education, especially through the UNESCO-UCLA program in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education at the University of California at Los Angeles. BGF member Carlos Alberto Torres is Distinguished Professor of Education and UNESCO Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education. Nguyen Anh Tuan, the BGF’s chief executive and editor-in-chief, is chairman of the International Advisory Committee of the UNESCO-UCLA Global Citizenship Education (GCE) program.


All eyes on Abe’s next fiscal moves

( May 2nd, 2016) The decision by the Bank of Japan to put off more economic stimulus for now means that market watchers are turning their attention to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to see if he will propose a supplementary spending package to accelerate economic growth.


The Boston Global Forum has named Mr. Abe a “World Leader for Peace, Security and Development.’’

Bloomberg News has noted: “Abe has already said he’ll create a supplementary budget to address the economic damage caused by deadly earthquakes in Kumamoto earlier this month. The central bank said on Thursday it would supply 300 billion yen of funds to banks affected by the quakes.’’


Merkel, mulling troops in Lithuania, backs dialogue with Russia

( May 2nd, 2016) German Chancellor Angela Merkel supports maintaining steady dialogue with Vladimir Putin’s Russia even as Berlin considers deploying several hundred German troops to Lithuania as part of a NAT0 force of some 1,000 troops there meant to discourage aggression by Russia, which has been stepping up its shows of military force in the Baltic.


The Boston Global Forum has named Mrs. Merkel a “World Leader for Peace, Security and Development.’’
“We must always be prepared to allow for dialogue. I think that is very important.

She said that Germany seeks to strengthen the security of all  of NATO’s eastern member states,” Mrs. Merkel said on April 29 in a joint press conference in Berlin with visiting Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis, highlighting a stronger German involvement within NATO in Eastern Europe.

The German government, she added, wants a resumption of dialogue within the NATO-Russia Council. In mid-April, the NATO-Russia Council met for the first time in two years to discuss the Ukraine crisis.



Abe to have pre-summit talks with some G7 leaders this week

(May 2nd, 2016) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit Italy, France, Belgium, Germany, Britain and Russia this week for talks with their leaders.


Mr. Abe will exchange views on the world economy and other major issues to be discussed at a G7 Summit that Japan will host on May 26-27. Italy, France, Germany, Canada, the United States, Japan and Britain are the G7 members. For a while there was a G8, which included Russia, but that nation was excluded after its invasion and occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.

In Russia, Abe will talk with President Vladimir Putin on bilateral relations, including a territorial dispute over four Russian-held islets off Hokkaido, and  other international issues.

The G-7 Ise-Shima Summit will take place  May 26 to 27 in Mie Prefecture, central Japan.