AIWS and Japan: The Speech of Yasuhide Nakayama, Head of the Shinzo Abe Initiative in Japan

May 6, 2024News

Yasuhide Nakayama, former State Minister of Defense of Japan, spoke at the BGF Conference “Governing the Future: AI, Democracy, and Humanity,” held on April 30, 2024 at Harvard University Loeb House via video call from Japan. Here are some of his key notes:

**International Cooperation and Leadership**

⭐️The Japanese government is acutely aware of the importance of establishing global governance for AI. When Prime Minister Fumio Kishida participated in the AI Safety Summit hosted by the UK, he highlighted the risks and potential of cutting-edge AI technologies, including generative AI. We have initiated the “Hiroshima AI Process” through the G7 Hiroshima Summit, leading the creation of international rules, which includes the “Hiroshima Process International Guidelines” and the “Hiroshima Process International Code of Conduct.”

**Domestic Policy and Strategy**
The Japanese government is actively engaged in addressing AI risks, promoting its use, and enhancing development capabilities through the Cabinet Office and relevant ministries. Our initiatives include the phased implementation of generative AI, enhancing skills education across all generations, boosting research capabilities, and supporting startups.

**Future Approaches to Collaboration with AIWS**
The AI World Society (AIWS), part of the Boston Global Forum, contributes significantly to the development of global AI policies. We are looking forward to proposing concrete collaboration initiatives with AIWS in the future, hoping that this will lay the foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship.

**International Safety and Collaboration**
The Japanese government prioritizes collaboration with the international community, extending beyond the G7 to engage with countries and private sectors worldwide. The outcomes of the AI Safety Summit and the Hiroshima AI Process complement each other, ensuring that the global community can benefit from AI. We continue to work closely together to make this a reality.

Through these efforts, the Japanese government not only contributes to the safety and benefits of AI globally but also deepens cooperation with the international community and establishes its leadership in technological evolution.

We are committed to building a foundation that manages both the opportunities and risks presented by AI, together with the international community.

And I have a profound aspiration that I have tirelessly worked towards, along with many colleagues, and continue to pursue. It is to establish a new United Nations headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region in Hiroshima.

I firmly believe that Hiroshima is the most appropriate city to discuss peace. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who coincidentally hails from Hiroshima, referred to this initiative as the “Hiroshima Process” in light of the G7 Summit held there.

While the United Nations has its main headquarters in New York and a European office in Geneva, as an Asian, I must highlight the scarcity of such platforms in Asia, where the global community can convene and engage in discourse.

Therefore, I propose the establishment of a dedicated UN headquarters in Hiroshima, Asia. Each UN headquarters has its unique mission, and I suggest that this new location focus on Artificial Intelligence, or AI.

Humanity finds convenience in conversing with AI, a form of artificial human, which will likely escalate as we seek to satisfy our curiosity. However, do we know enough about AI to entrust it with such significant roles? This question will increasingly bear down on us as a critical issue. When it becomes crucial to meet and discuss these matters in person, without the mediation of the internet, there will be no substitute for direct human interaction. The importance of face-to-face communication cannot be overstated, and we must prepare for potential risks with imagination and foresight.

Even if some may criticize it as mere infrastructure without immediate return, I believe it is essential to establish a UN Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hiroshima, specifically to address AI.

This would not only serve as a strategic location but also as a symbolic gesture, reinforcing the significance of direct dialogue and cooperation.

Additionally, I am currently responsible for investments in “deep tech” for a fund based in Japan. Our fund is a leading shareholder in Cyabra, the company that Elon Musk used during his Twitter acquisition. As mentioned earlier, we possess deep tech capabilities to detect fake videos and text.

In conclusion, AI might help you find a spouse. However, when it comes to divorce, it won’t be able to shed tears alongside you. We must remember this characteristic and think about AI with creativity and imagination.

I would like to conclude with one last Japanese lesson.  It goes without saying that “LOVE” is a very important word in English. So, what is the Japanese word for “LOVE”? In Japanese, it is expressed as “愛” (Ai). We should remember that “愛” (Ai), which means “LOVE” in Japanese, represents one of the most challenging concepts to grasp, both for humans and artificial intelligence.

Thank you very much for your attention.