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 2007 CREP International Symposium

Future East Asian Regionalism: Proposal for an East Asian Charter

Saturday, July 21, 2007

     On Saturday, 21 July, 2007, the final international symposium was held by the Comparative Regionalism Project (CREP) group of the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo, under the heading of "Future East Asian Regionalism: Proposal for an East Asian Charter" at the University's Ichijo Hall, Yayoi Auditorium.
     The international symposium aimed to propose a charter for the East Asian region with full provisions and related protocols. This unprecedented, epoch-making academic attempt by a working group led by Professor Nakamura showed with overwhelming clarity a possible future direction for the East Asian region with, its own mode of cooperation. The number of the audience, gathered internationally, from the academic community, legal practitioners and the public, revealed its contemporary significance in the region and the world.
     Panelists from Japan, Asia, and Europe altogether welcomed the proposal, and submitted several topics for further discussion.
     Fistly, what is the lesson of the European integration process, and what can we learn from the European experience for East Asian regionalism? Some referred to the ever-widening perception in Europe that collective action enhances sovereignty, while others were sceptical about such an argument by putting emphasis on the difference in international political settings.
     A second major issue was that of membership. The proposed Charter itself stresses that the decision is political rather than geographical, and that regionalism in the region has so far been multi-layered.
     Thirdly, a question was raised whether motivational factors in the region are genuinely of a regional nature. It was pointed out that while a trend towards regionalisation exists, the international relationships of the countries in the region are so expansive that they cannot be confined in the region.
     A fourth topic was the extent to which the regional framework is to be institutionalised. The proposed Charter is quite modest in that its prevalent mode of decision is consensus. Even this way of regional collective decision led some panelists to adopt a cautious attitude, whereas others felt the very unwieldiness of such a scheme was a likely obstacle to further regional cooperation.
     However, on the whole, the participants all agreed that we are in need of a regional arrangement based on the "Asian way", and towards that prospect of flexible institutionalisation, of a non-coercive character, we can cooperate with each other in the East Asian region, as Professor Nakamura stated in his concluding remarks.
Prof. NakamuraProf. Suehiro, Prof. Nakamura, Prof. Suami, and Prof. SatoProf. SuamiAudienceAudienceProf. Marukawa

Prof. SatoProf. LawanProf. Holland, Prof. Sato, Prof. Suami, Prof. Nakamura, and Prof. SasakiProf. WebberProf. Yamamoto, Prof. Hu, Prof. Lu and Dr. PharProf. Holland

 International Symposium Documents  * Please do not cite without permission

Future East Asian Regionalism: Proposal for an East Asian Charter
Draft Charter of the East Asian Community
An Academic Proposal Tamio Nakamura
Community Policies Takao Suami
Organisations Yoshiaki Sato

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