Online Panel Discussions


160 Years of

19 & 21 April 2021

10:00 – 11:30 CEST / 17:00 – 18:30 JST

19 & 21 April 2021

10:00 – 11:30 CEST / 17:00 – 18:30 JST


In 2021, Japan and Germany look back on 160 years of friendship. On January 24th in 1861, Japan signed a treaty of friendship, trade and navigation with Prussia, which today is considered the beginning of Japanese-German diplomatic relations. Today, both countries are close partners committed to a rules-based, multilateral international order. Based on shared interests and values, Japan and Germany are jointly approaching global challenges and trends such as digitalization, climate change, demographic developments – while currently battling the ongoing pandemic.

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) has long been engaged in and with Japan. Through our offices in Tokyo, Berlin and Brussels, KAS fosters political dialogue and multifaceted cooperation between Germany, Europe and Japan. On the occasion of the 160th anniversary of bilateral relations, KAS together with the Japanese Embassy of Germany will look ahead: How can Japan and Germany move closer to each other in a multilateral context? How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect and accelerate global developments in both countries? What can Japan and Germany learn from and with each other to thrive given the trends of the 21st century? Which formats does that take?

In two panel discussions focusing on a strong, resilient and smart future, renowned experts from Japan, Germany and other countries discuss challenges and joint solutions.

First Panel Session (19th April 2021)
Towards an Intensified Cooperation: Common Ground for Japan, Germany and their Partners

In the first session, the shared importance of an inclusive, rules-based international order pursued by both Japan and Germany is highlighted. The Indo-Pacific Guidelines published last year by the German Government emphasize diversified and multilateral relations with partners in the region. With its vision for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, the Japanese Government likewise aims at building a multi-layered and inclusive cooperative network with partners in the region and beyond. Looking towards the future and including like-minded partners from the region, the following questions will be discussed:

  • What expectations do Japan and Germany have towards each other when it comes to security and political cooperation?
  • What are key success factors of multilateral cooperation across cultures, time zones and continents?
  • In which topics and formats can Japan, Germany and like-minded partners foster and intensify their cooperation?
Second Panel Session (21st April 2021)
Towards a Sustainable Economic Recovery: Resilience and Transformations after COVID-19

In the second session, an economic lens is applied. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose heavy economic challenges in both Japan and Germany. Despite the devastating consequences, the transformation towards a green and sustainable post-pandemic “New Normal” is considered an opportunity that should not be missed. The “old” economic models based on carbon consumption resulted in the planet suffering from climate change and its diverse consequences. Looking towards the future, the following questions will be discussed:

  • To what extent do Japanese and German businesses take the pandemic as a driver for green change?
  • How can economic, climate and energy policies foster the post-pandemic transformation towards more sustainable supply and value chains?
  • Which focus areas and actions do Japan and Germany consider essential for a sustainable recovery of the economy?
  • What are the promising areas for Japanese-German collaboration in that regard?


Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Japan

Embassy of Japan in Germany

Agenda & Speakers

SESSION 1Monday,
19 April 2021
SESSION 2Wednesday,
21 April 2021




Rabea Brauer

Country Representative, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Japan




Gisela Elsner

Policy Advisor (Sustainability), Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

16:55-17:00 JST

Log-in to Zoom

09:55-10:00 CEST

17:00-17:10 JST

Opening Remarks

10:00-10:10 CEST

H.E. Hidenao Yanagi

Ambassador, Embassy of Japan in Germany

Beate Neuss

Deputy Head, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

17:10-17:20 JST

Incoming Statement: A personal view

10:10-10:20 CEST

Minoru Kiuchi

Member, House of Representatives (LDP);
Secretary-General, Japanese-German Parliamentary Friendship Group

17:20-17:40 JST

Impulse Statements

10:20-10:40 CEST

Yasuhide Nakayama

Member, House of Representatives (LDP);
State Minister, Ministry of Defense

Roderich Kiesewetter

Member and Representative, Committee on Foreign Affairs
(CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group), German Bundestag

17:40-18:25 JST

Discussions and Q&A

10:40-11:25 CEST

joined by

Ben Poxon

Defence Attaché, Embassy of Australia in Germany

Kenneth Weinstein

Walter P. Stern Distinguished Fellow, Hudson Institute

18:25-18:30 JST

Conclusion and Outlook

11:25-11:30 CEST

Peter Hefele

Head, Department Asia and the Pacific,

16:55-17:00 JST

Log-in to Zoom

09:55-10:00 CEST

17:00-17:10 JST

Opening Remarks

10:00-10:10 CEST

Mr. Kenichi Bessho

Envoy, Embassy of Japan in Germany

17:10-17:40 JST

Impulse Statements

10:10-10:40 CEST

Ulrich Niemann

Director for Japan, Department for Foreign Trade,
German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

Hubertus Bardt

Managing Director, German Economic Institute

Hideki Makihara

Member, House of Representatives (LDP);
Director (Environment Division), LDP Policy Research Council

Martin Schulz

Chief Policy Economist, Fujitsu

17:40-18:20 JST


10:40-11:20 CEST

18:20-18:30 JST

Conclusion and Outlook

11:20-11:30 CEST

Jan Cernicky

Policy Advisor (International Trade),

Barbara Voelkl

Desk Officer, East Asia & Pacific,

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