Against the background of current political developments and in a changing world order, it is becoming increasingly important for Germany to strengthen its relations with other democratic states in order to preserve its independence and stability. Japan offers itself as such a partner like no other: As liberal and pluralistic democracies, innovation partners and members of the G7, both countries share fundamental values such as freedom, respect for human rights and the rule of law.
The Sur-Place-Dialogue Tokyo brought together a group of members of the Tönissteiner Kreis e.V. and the Student Forum in the Tönissteiner Kreis e.V. as well as the scholarship holders of the Foundation for German-Japanese Cultural Exchange for a one-week program in Tokyo. It was designed to help participants get to know the country, identify potential for cooperation and contribute to fostering German-Japanese relations in the long term. The program offered a comprehensive immersion into Japanese culture, history and society and enabled participants to familiarize themselves with the country and its unique attributes. Throughout the week, participants got to know various scientific, economic, political and (inter)cultural institutions in Tokyo, including business associations, universities and diplomatic missions, explored partnerships and interacted with experts, policy makers and students. In particular, the group aimed to address issues related to German-Japanese relations from the perspective of what both sides can learn from their different approaches to tackling societal problems, as well as identify perspectives for the transformation to a climate-neutral and digital economy.