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15th Sato essay contest
The Eisaku Sato Memorial Foundation for Cooperation with the United Nations University has set as its 15th international essay contest topic "The UN's role in the globalization process."
The contest organizers elaborate on that topic thus: "In recent years and in many fields, globalization has swept over the world like a wave. However, in some fields there are strong concerns regarding regionalism. Moreover, with regard to international borders and national sovereignty, many conflict situations are possible. What should be the roles of global governance and the United Nations in such an age? And, specifically, what is the UN expected to achieve?"
The Eisaku Sato Memorial Foundation for Cooperation with the United Nations University was established by the late former Prime Minister of Japan with the monetary award he received with the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize. The foundation's activities focus on providing support for the development of the United Nations University.
In June, Dr. Edward Newman, then of Shumei University, shared the 14th contest's top award for his essay, "Japan's Support of Global Public Goods: A Pillar of the International Community?" Coincidentally, Dr. Newman had already published a co-edited volume with UNU Press, The Changing Nature of Democracy, and he joined the UNU's academic staff on 1 August.
The abstract for his essay, which is the basis for another upcoming book, is reproduced here to encourage other writers to enter the contest.
"Japan has been projecting itself as a major actor in international politics and committing itself to a greater burden of responsibilities. The thrust of this campaign has been an attempt to articulate a creative, progressive vision of international politics and to outline an agenda to address common international challenges.
"However, a number of constraints must be tackled by Japan's leaders and public in order for its burgeoning international role to be credible. The central issues are whether Japan's political structure, its culture, its historical experiences, and its constitution are obstacles to forthright and creative leadership qualities and the communication of a convincing 'global vision'."
The other top award winner was Mr. Yuji Takiishi, a teacher at Tosajuku High School. Second-place winners were Ms. Mayumi Itayama, a University of Tokyo student, and Dr. Ancha Srinivasan, a Regional Science Institute researcher.