Debate Practice for Japanese Students: 日本人学生のディベート実践 [Report]

Debate Practice for Japanese Students in Silicon Valley, California

Date: March 20-21, 2017; 日時:2017年3月20日~21日
Place: Pacific Motor Inn, San Jose, California: 場所:カリフォルニア・サンノゼ
Program: Kyushu Univ 5 week ELEP program: プログラム:九州大学5週間海外研修

A group of students from Kyushu University practiced a "formal debate" in the final week of their training program, organized by the Kyushu Univ. office in Silicon Valley, California.
Two important issues, AI (artificial intelligence) and nuclear energy, are taken up in the debate, first in Japanese on March 20, and then in English on March 21.
"Learning by doing" was the approach taken here, as this was a new experience for most students.
In this two-day practice, the students were offered opportunities to learn many things, from English to debate manner in addition to the issues themselves. In fact, on this program, especially in the debate practice, all the students made really impressive progress in the presentation and exchange of their opinions in Japanese and English as well.
For more details about the issues, see the reference at the bottom of this page.


Program coordinator M. Matsuo introducing debate instructor T. Miyao
170320Miyao1.jpg 170320Miyao2.jpg
Students' debate on nuclear energy: "Pro" side (left) vs. "Con" side (right)
Final comments by Prof. Takamatsu and Group photo of all participants

Reference; 参考
Distribution material handed out to students prior to the debate
Issue 1: Is the future of AI likely a blessing or a threat for human beings? Are you bullish or cautious about the future of AI?
Side A: AI is advancing and helping our life and work significantly, as already shown in ever more convenient services in information, financial and retail business. Our productivity and living standard will be improved substantially with the development of AI, and those who possess the most advanced AI will prevail in the world in the future.
Side B: AI is advancing itself faster than anyone has predicted, already replacing some workers and creating serious problems such as bankruptcies, unemployment and low wages even in advanced industries, which are now dominated by few giant companies with advanced AI technology. Furthermore, AI is bound to reach the "singularity point" beyond which AI could be uncontrollable and disastrous for human beings.

Issue 2: Is nuclear power necessary or unnecessary to satisfy our needs for energy, technology, the environment, etc. Are you for or against nuclear energy?
Side A: In a country like Japan without much natural resources, nuclear power is the only realistic alternative to fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas, to reconcile the dilemma to satisfy both energy and environmental needs, as clean renewable resources are still a tiny fraction of energy supply with rising costs. The nuclear safety issue can only be addressed by international cooperation to develop and invest in newer and safer nuclear power technology.
Side B: Nuclear energy is too hazardous and dangerous for any country to rely on to satisfy its energy needs, and also it is too costly in view of all the safety measures required for nuclear power plant operations and, most of all, enormous costs imposed on society in case of accident. Equally serious is the nuclear waste issue, which cannot be treated with existing technologies. Although, without nuclear power, energy shortage may be unavoidable in the short run, clean renewable energy should be encouraged to meet the long-run energy needs.

Stanford Seminar on China in South Asia on Feb. 21, 2017 [Report]

Stanford Seminar: "China in South Asia's New Strategic Quadrangle"

Date/Time: February 21(T), 2017, 4:30-6:00pm
Venue: Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, Stanford
Sponsored by: Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center

Speaker: Evan A. Feigenbaum, Vice Chairman, The Paulson Institute
"South Asia is one of the least economically integrated regions of the world, but its future can no longer be divorced from broader trends in a dynamic, volatile, yet increasingly integrated Asia........ In this talk, Feigenbaum will explore China's changing role in South Asia but especially the complex interaction there among four big powers ("Asia's new strategic quadrangle) - India, China, the US, and Japan"
Dr. Evan Feigenbaum's talk and Q&A session

Comment: Despite its regionally focused title, the actual talk encompassed a whole range of strategic and economic changes in Asia and the Pacific rim. A strong message of the speaker emerged toward the end of his talk, especially during the Q&A session, that there seems to be no single, unified policy approach to various countries and regions on the part of China to dominate the whole region or the world for that matter, as is often feared by Western observers. This means that even if the US withdraws from some of the region-wide activities in Asia Pacific such as TPP, China could not automatically become the dominant strategic and economic power in the region; an "anti-alarmist" argument which reminds us of Dr. Harold Trinkunas' seminar on "China's role in Latin America" at Stanford on Feb. 1, 2017. See the following report:
Harold Trinkunas (Center for Int'l Security & Cooperation, Stanford) "A 'Comprehensive and Cooperative Partnership'?: Assessing China's Role in Latin America"
(Takahiro Miyao)

"How to Debate" for Students from Kyushu U.: 九大生のための「ディベートの仕方」 [Report]

Lecture on "How to Debate" for Students from Kyushu U.@SJSU Campus

Date/Time: 2/21(T), 2017, 1:30-2:15pm; 日時 2月21日(火)13:30~14:15
Place: SJSU Engineering Building: 場所 サンノゼ州立大学・工学部ビル

A brief instruction about "how to debate" was given to a group of students from Kyushu University, participating in their five-week training program in Silicon Valley. Their actual debate exercise will be held in late March.

SJSU Campus Scene; サンノゼ州立大学のキャンパス風景
Engineering Building & Student Union; 工学部ビルと学生食堂周辺の様子
Dr Matsuo's introduction & Dr Miyao's lecture; 松尾氏による紹介と宮尾氏の講義
References; 参考
1. "Debate Manual" (Illustrations by T. Miyao):
2. 「ディベートの手引き」(絵・宮尾尊弘):

Revisit to SF Bay Area (2017/1/31-2/2): SFベイエリア再訪 [Report]

Visit to SF Bay Area (1/31-2/2, 2017): SFベイエリア訪問(2017/1/31-2/2)

Main purposes: To give a "Certificate of Appreciation" to outgoing JUNBA Chair & Osaka Univ. office head Mr. Kabasawa, and consult with Kyushu Univ. office head Mr. Matsuo about my upcoming debate class for his student group, as well as to attend three Stanford seminars on Japan and China.
訪問の主目的: 間もなくJUNBA(ベイエリア大学ネットワーク)代表と阪大北米センター長の職を退く樺澤氏に「感謝状」を贈呈し、また九大カリフォルニアオフィス代表の松尾氏とディベート実施について相談するとともに、日本と中国に関する3つのスタンフォード大セミナーに参加すること。

Day 1: January 31(T) ; 1日目:1月31日(火)
Revisiting Osaka Univ. Office in SF: 大阪大学北米センター・樺澤氏再訪
Revisiting JSPA Office in Berkeley: JSPSオフィス・田宮氏再訪
Seminar on Japanese Women in Business: スタンフォードセミナー「日本の女性とビジネス」
@Stanford Univ 170131Stan13.jpg
Day 2: February 1(W) ; 2日目:2月1日(水)
Attending two seminars on Japan & China; 日本と中国についてのセミナー参加
Venue: Encina Hall, Stanford University; 場所:スタンフォート大学エンシナホール
Seminar report: セミナー報告:

Seminar 1) 12:00-1:30pm; セミナー1:12:00-13:30
"Corporate Governance Reform in Japan"; 「日本の企業統治改革」
Speaker: Hideaki Miyajima (Waseda Univ); 宮島英昭早稲田大学教授

Seminar 2) 4:30-6:00pm; セミナー2: 16:30-18:00
"A 'Comprehensive and Cooperative Partnership'?: China's Role in Latin America";
Speaker: Harold Trinkunas (Center for Int'l Security & Cooperation, Stanford)
Moderator/Commentator: Thomas Fingar (FSI, Stanford Univ.)
Day 3: February 2(Th) ; 3日目:2月2日(木)
Revisiting Kyushu Univ. Office to meet Mr. Matsuo & visiting Univ. members
Leaving SFO for LAX in the afternoon: 午後にSF空港発でLAへ

Stanford Seminars on Japan & China on Feb. 1, 2017 [Report]

Stanford Seminars on Japan and China

Date: February 1(W), 2017
Venue: Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, Stanford Univeristy

1) 12:00-1:30pm
"Corporate Governance Reform in Japan": Japan Colloquium Series
Speaker: Hideaki Miyajima (Waseda University)
Moderator/Commentator: Takeo Hoshi (FSI, Stanford University)
(From seminar abstract):
Since Abenomics launched corporate governance reforms as the third arrow of its policies mix, a series of reform measures were introduced such as Stewardship Code, Corporate Governance Code, organizing JPX 400 by Tokyo Stock Exchange. In this presentation, first, recent changes of governance arrangement in Japanese firms are summarized, and some agenda for further reforms is suggested.
Prof. Hideaki Miyajima:
(Miyao's report):
Very informative presentation about recent developments in corporate governance reform in Japan. A more detailed account of current issues on this subject matter should be found in Prof. Miyajima's forthcoming book "Corporate Governance and Growth Strategy" (「企業統治と成長戦略」to be published soon, as he pointed out. From the viewpoint of economic theorists like myself, it was quite interesting to hear from him that the current "hybrid" arrangement of Japanese corporate organization, combining the traditional "Japan model" and the "US model" of corporate governance, appears to be stable, contrary to theoretical intuition. Prof. Miyajima did not provide an explanation about this stability property, other than saying that many of the Japanese representative firms seem to have been in some hybrid situation for more than a decade without showing any sign to go to either the purely Japanese or US model. Hopefully in his forthcoming book, at least some more detailed, especially theoretical, account will be presented to persuade both theorists and empiricists on this matter.

2) 4:30-6:00pm
"A 'Comprehensive and Cooperative Partnership'?: Assessing China's Role in Latin America": Asia-Pacific Research Center Event
Speaker: Harold Trinkunas (Center for Int'l Security & Cooperation, Stanford)
Moderator/Commentator: Thomas Fingar (FSI, Stanford Univ.)
(From seminar abstract):
Latin American trade with China has grown exponentially since 2000. Major loans and investments also add to China’s growing role in the region’s economy. China has become an important alternative for capital, trade and technology for Latin America, but without the policy conditionality that regional governments have traditionally experienced in relations with developed countries. As part of a project on China-Latin American relations at the Brookings Institution, Harold Trinkunas assesses how China’s growing economic relations actually influence politics and policies across the region.
Harold Trinkunas:
Thomas Fingar:
(Miyao's report):
Very comprehensive and balanced analysis of China's political, economic, and strategic influence in the Latin American region. However, the bottom line conclusion of the speaker's (and the commentator's) argument was something like "China's influence on Latin America in the foreseeable future would be more limited than generally perceived, regardless of what happens to the both Chinese and American sides (even under the Trump administration), in view of the long-term relationship between Latin America and the advanced Western countries, especially the US, still dominating Latin American economies," a view which is not so easily subscribed to by Asian observers like myself, who are more concerned about China's hegemony in Asia and the Pacific-rim region including some Latin American countries, especially in the aftermath of the failure of TPP. as I questioned to these two specialists, who answered my question by saying that the US could effectively deal with Pacific-rim nations even in a bilateral fashion, as US President Trump suggested. We all hope so.

2016 Mini-Conference on Disasters and Recovery [Report]

2016 Mini-Conference on Disasters and Recovery@University of Tokyo

Date/Time: December 19, 2016, 9:30am-17:15pm
Place: University of Tokyo, Kojima Hall, Seminar Room No. 1
Yasuyuki Sawada, Univ. of Tokyo and Daniel P. Aldrich, Northeastern Univ.
9:30-9:40 Conference Welcome from Prof. Yasuyuki Sawada
Session 1: 9:40-12:10 Chair, Yasuyuki Sawada
(Left) Toru Tsuboya, Tohoku Univ. "Types of disaster damage and change in depressive symptoms among survivors in Iwanuma, Miyagi"; (Right) Naoki Kondo, Tokyo Univ. "Disasters, economic crisis and social capital: evidence from social epidemiology"
(Left) Daniel Aldrich, Northeastern Univ. "How social capital matters during and after disasters"; (Right) Q&A session
Session 2; 12:50-17:15 Chair, Daniel P. Aldrich
(Left) Jamie Lien, Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong, "Major earthquake experiences and presently-focused expenditures"; (Right) Yuki Higuchi, Nagoya City Univ. "Disaster aid targeting and political connection: Evidence from the Philippines"
(Left) Yasuyuki Sawada, Tokyo Univ. "Disaster and preference: A united thery and evidence from the Philippines and Japan"; (Right) Masaharu Tsubokura, Tokyo Univ. "Medical assistance for the 23km zone after the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster"
(Left) Minhaj Mahmud, BRAC Univ., "Natural disaster and risk sharing behavior: Experimental evidence from Bangladesh”; (Right) Yasuyuki Sawada, Tokyo Univ., Closing Remarks

Stanford Event: Nuclear Safety And Security In Northeast Asia: A Panel Discussion [Report]

Nuclear Safety And Security In Northeast Asia: A Panel Discussion (October 19, 2016)
Sponsored by: Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center

Date/Time: October 19(W), 12:00-1:30pm
Venue: Bechtel Conference Center, Encina Hall, Stanford

Takeo Hoshi, Henri H. and Tomoye Takahashi Senior Fellow in Japanese Studies, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Liyou Zha, Deputy Consul General of the People Public of China, San Francisco
Shouichi Nagayoshi, Deputy Consul General of Japan, San Francisco
Jimin Kim, Deputy Consul General of the Republic of Korea, San Francisco
Phillip Lipscy, TheThomas Rohlen Center Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Associate Professor of Political Science
Prof. T. Hoshi, Mr. L. Zha, Mr. S. Nagayoshi, Mr. J. Kim and Prof. P. Lipscy

"Northeast Asia is now a central arena to determine the future of nuclear safety and security. The Fukushima nuclear accident, and its ongoing aftermath, is at the forefront of the debate over the utility of nuclear energy in resolving global issues of climate change and energy security. And North Korea’s headlong rush towards acquisition of nuclear weapons and delivery systems has sparked talk of going nuclear in both South Korea and China and discussion over how to provide extended deterrence, including the role of missile defense."

When diplomats stationing in a local city like San Francisco talk about national and international issues such as nuclear safety and security, all you can expect is what may be called "diplomatic talks." It was no exception this time, as the three diplomats claimed that their governments were doing their best in achieving "nuclear safety and security" by cooperating among the three countries, even in dealing with the "trust deficit" issue about nuclear safety and the "North Korea" issue about nuclear security.
Whenever they had to mention some unresolved problems, the key word "challenge" was used to avoid admission of inabilities or even failures in addressing such problems.
It turned out to be so obviously "diplomatic," when the three deputy consuls responded to the question from the floor, asking how their governments are dealing with the public's strong opposition to nuclear power, that is, the problem of seemingly increasing trust deficit: the Korean deputy consul said something like "educating people," and the Japanese deputy consul emphasized "dialogue with the public," while the Chinese deputy consul somewhat surprisingly that "the government listens and can change its mind in building nuclear plants," although that could happen only in some neighborhoods, but certainly not for the nation as a whole, as the Chinese diplomat himself initially presented that there were 27 nuclear power plants currently in operation, and 25 more under construction, which looks like a very aggressive pro-nuclear power policy.
Prof. Lipscy raised an interesting point regarding the possible implications of changing political atmosphere and shifting public opinions in the US regarding nuclear proliferation in Asia, but unfortunately there was no response from any panelist or even from the floor. Probably, we need another round of panel discussion, preferably by specialists, on such an issue.
(T. Miyao)

Stanford Colloquium:Japan's Great Earthquake & Nuclear Disaster: 5 Years Later" (March 10, 2016)

SVIF Seminar "Differences to Make a Successful Venture": 「成功できるベンチャーは何が違うのか」 [Report]

SVIF Seminar: Mitch Kitamura "Differences to Make Successful Venture"

Title タイトル: "Differences to Make a Successful Venture -- What to Do";
Speaker スピーカー: Mitch Kitamura; 北村充崇 (Managing Director, DraperNexus)
Date/Time 日時: May 13(F), 2016, 7:30-9:00pm; 5月13日(金)19:30~21:00
Venue 場所: Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, 650 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, CA
Website ウェブサイト:

Mr. Kitamura's Presentation at SVIF Seminar; SVIFセミナーでの北村充崇氏のプレゼン
160513SVIFa16.jpg 160516SVIFb16.jpg
Based on his venture capitalist career for two decades, Mitch Kitamura (Managing Director of DraperNexus Ventures) made quite an impressive and informative presentation about recent trends in venture business in Silicon Valley at his SVIF seminar for mostly Japanese business audience in Northern California.
After identifying four target areas for current venture business, namely, big data-based insurance, autonomous vehicles, cyber security, and blockchain, he listed key factors which seem to differentiate successful ventures from unsuccessful ones -- (1) grit (or resolve), (2) persuasive story, and (3) fast growth.
On the other hand, the single most important reason for failure appears to be "no market lead", that is, no market demand for the new product developed by venture business, according to Mr. Kitamura.
However, there were quite a few questions about this statement from the audience, pointing out that at least some of the successful venture businesses made a success, exactly because there were no markets for their products until they produced and marketed -- so the question is how to resolve this dilemma for venture business.
Apparently no clear answer exists, but what Mr. Kitamura called the Silicon Valley Rules could give a good suggestion as to how to deal with this dilemma for future success in venture business: that is, (1) pay it forward: give and take, (2) do and build a thing, (3) open to feedback, and (4) be excited with what you do -- very good advice indeed.
(Reported by T. Miyao)

Stanford Seminar on” Immigration Policies”: スタンフォード・セミナー「移民政策について」 [Report]

Stanford OpenXChange Seminar: "Learning About Immigration Policies"

Title タイトル: "Learning Together About Immigration Policies & Experiences"
Panelists パネリスト :
Shanto Iyengar, Chair in Communication, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Political Communication Laboratory
Ana Minian, Assistant Professor, Department of History and the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE)
Greg Walton, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Date/Time 日時: May 12(Th) 15:30-17:00
Venue 場所: Branner Hall Lounge, Stanford
Website ウェブサイト:
Sponsored by 主催: OpenXChange, CCSRE, El Centro Y Chicano, Immigrants' Rights Law Clinic, Stanford Humanities Center, SIG, Stanford Law School

Panel at the Seminar in Branner Hall Lounge: セミナーでのパネリストのプレゼン
Report (English/Japanese):
At this interactive seminar, three panelists specializing in history and policy of immigration presented their views and analyses on the highly controversial issue, especially in the current presidential election year.
Reflecting their disciplines, their presentations and subsequent discussions tended to emphasize a close link between the immigration issue and racial problems within the context of US politics and policy choices, thus often resulting in rather short-term fluctuations in public interest and enthusiasm in this issue, as some panelist pointed out.
What is missing in this seminar as well as public discussion in the US seems to be the analysis and understanding of long-term cost and benefit of immigration, especially in economic terms, from the national and international viewpoint.
(Reported by T. Miyao)

Stanford Seminar on "Bitcoin and China": スタンフォード・セミナー「ビットコインと中国」 [Report]

Stanford Engineering Seminar: Bobby Lee "Bitcoin & China" (May 11, '16)

Title タイトル: "Bitcoin, China, and Startups"
Speaker スピーカー: Bobby Lee, Co-founder and CEO of BTCC
Date/Time 日時: May 11(W), 2016, 4:30-6:00pm
Venue 場所: NVIDIA Auditorium, Huang Engineering Center, Stanford
Website ウェブサイト:
DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series
Sponsored by 主催: Stanford Technology Venture Program, Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students

Huang Engineering Center; Bobby Lee's presentation ボビー・リーのプレゼン
"Physical version" of bitcoin, Seminar shown on monitor outside the auditorium
Report: (English/Japanese)
Mr. Bobby Lee with his BS and MS in Computer Science from Stanford is "co-founder and CEO of BTCC, the leading bitcoin financial platform and the longest-running bitcoin exchange worldwide," according to Stanford's event website.
His seminar at the Engineering Center Auditorium has revealed why he has been so successful in this highly controversial business in the tightly regulated country.
After explaining the basic concept and nature of bitcoin, including "bitcoin mining," which itself is an interesting process, he turned to why bitcoin is so popular in China and also how to make a good entrepreneur in China, rather than getting into technological details about bitcoin, such as "blockchain," which most of the audience was interested in.
Furthermore, in taking up the Chinese situation, he emphasized mostly positive aspects (saying "the Chinese like bitcoin because it represents the digital future" and "the Chinese government seems supportive of bitcoin") and minimized the widely believed negative aspects (saying "bitcoin is not so heavily used to evade capital controls in China").
So, this seminar turned out to be a kind of promotional pitch rather than an academic explanation about bitcoin and its acceptance in China.
In any case, he is a terrific salesperson, and it is now understandable why he has been so successful in China for so long.
(Reported by T. Miyao)