Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum


As part of ICU’s 60th Anniversary Project, specialists of diverse backgrounds have been invited from Japan and overseas to participate in the 2012 Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum, which will be held at ICU from 22 to 24 October.

Over these three days, participants from various fields (including peace-building, conflict resolution, economics, politics, foreign affairs, international development, humanitarianism, human rights, media, arts, humanities, and religion) will investigate sources of tension, discuss the forms that peace-building and safety may take, and exchange frank ideas about the resolution of issues specific to Asia as well as global development in Asia and its future. The forum will open with keynote addresses and also include panel discussions and discussions in working groups.

We take this opportunity to inform you that a portion of the forum will be open to the public and hope this will be a valuable opportunity for you.


How to Attend the Forum

To attend the forum, please click the below link for information about which parts of the forum are open to the public. The link will also guide you to a site to apply for admission. Seats are limited and will be given to applicants on a first come, first serve basis.

ICU 60th Anniversary Project  http://subsites.icu.ac.jp/anniv60/en/events/index.html


Public Forum Sessions

Location: International Christian University,


Beyond Power and Technology: Culture and Nuclear Asia

22 October (Mon), 16:00-17:30

To achieve regional security, Asia’s nuclear programs must be viewed in the context of regional identity politics and dynamics. Understanding the complex and shifting cultural underpinnings of nuclear programs provides a useful roadmap for those working in cultural diplomacy to build trust and confidence for regional security and world peace.

・Azeem Ibrahim, CEO, Ibrahim Foundation

・James Martin, Founder, Oxford Martin School

・Jonathan Schell, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Yale University


Strengthening Peace-building: Search for Common Ground

23 October (Tue), 15:00-16:30

Cognizant of the critical role played by religion in society, debates on peace-building and reconciliation cannot overlook the extent to which religious freedom, tolerance, and core values – such as compassion and forbearance – can enhance dialogue and understanding. Likewise, education and professional development training provide a strong foundation to foster leadership, build common ground, and strengthen peace-building.

・Abuna Elias Chacour, Archbishop of Galilee

・Alexia von Lipsey, Advisory Board Member, Center for a New American Security

・John Marks, President, Search for Common Ground

・Katsuhiko Seino, Pastor, Tsuchiura Megumi Church


Culture of Peace: Global Governance & Development

24 October (Wed),


・Sadako Ogata, Special Advisor to the President, Japan International Cooperation Agency

As a distinguished political scientist, civil servant, educator, human security advocate, and international development expert, Madam Sadako Ogata is a key player in domestic and international affairs. Her scholarship and leadership have inspired generations of reputable professionals playing a prominent role in politics, the prevention of conflicts, and the promotion of peace and socioeconomic development around the world. Accordingly, this dialogue on the culture of peace with Mrs. Sadako Ogata will discuss her views on international cooperation, global governance, human rights, and security.


・Olusegun Obasanjo, President (1999-2007), Nigeria

H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has been actively engaged in Nigerian, African, and world politics for nearly four decades. He will reflect on the challenges and opportunities of culture in peace-building and reconciliation efforts, and share his experiences and insights in the use of cultural resources in the resolution of conflictsand the strengthening of international relations.