JAPANESE

Yasuo Fukuda

Description of the Achievements Deserving of Award

The Grand Prize of the 4th Asia Cosmopolitan Awards is granted to HE Mr. Yasuo Fukuda. He moved into politics as a secretary for his father, Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda. In 1990, at age 53, he ran in the 39th election of members for the House of Representatives and was victorious. Afterwards, he filled important diplomatic posts such as the Parliamentary Vice‐Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Division of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. He also served as Chief Cabinet Secretary in the administrations of Yoshiro Mori and Junichiro Koizumi, thereby playing a considerably significant role in both domestic and diplomatic affairs.
In September 2007, HE Mr. Fukuda was inaugurated as Japan’s 91st Prime Minister. During his term of office, he chaired a number of multilateral summits, such as the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit and the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). He also announced that Japan would take a leading role in addressing various urgent issues, such as reinforcing measures against climate change, stabilizing financial markets, ensuring international responses to appreciation of crude oil prices, and realizing economic growth and development. At the International Conference on the Future of Asia, held in May 2008, he said, “Asia has now come to the fore as a central player in world history,” and announced that Japan would “pursue the limitless potential of the region with our friends of Asia and the Pacific, and in order to do so, the starting point for the Japanese society must be living amidst openness and diversity, opening itself up to the diversity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world.” Having inherited and developed the philosophy of the Fukuda Doctrine, formulated by his father, Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, he delivered the statement as guidelines for Japanese diplomacy. (Fukuda Doctrine: 1. Japan rejects the role of a military power and contributes to peace and prosperity in the world; 2. Japan consolidates a relationship of mutual confidence and trust based on “heart-to-heart” understanding with the countries of Southeast Asia (ASEAN); and 3. Japan is an equal partner of ASEAN and its member countries, contributes toward building peace and prosperity throughout the ASEAN region.)
Emphasizing diplomacy toward Asia, HE. Mr. Fukuda assigned his first priority in Japanese diplomacy to the relations of Japan–China, Japan–Korea, and Japan–Southeast Asia during his tenure as prime minister. In particular, in recognition of the formulation of the ASEAN Charter, which is based on economic integration, correction of intra-regional disparities, and universal values, he announced that Japan would cooperate in forming a future ASEAN Community by newly establishing the Mission of Japan to ASEAN and the post of Ambassador to ASEAN. As a result of his firm determination and dedication, on May 26, 2011, the Mission of Japan to ASEAN was founded in Jakarta, Indonesia, adding a new page to the history of the “heart-to-heart” relationship between Japan and ASEAN. Moreover, recognizing the necessity of ERIA as an international organization to further promote the economic integration of ASEAN, in November 2007 he attended the 3rd East Asia Summit, where establishment of the body was agreed upon, and greatly contributed to founding the organization.
Since stepping down from office and retiring as a diet member, he has been actively committed to mutual understanding and development in Asia, as the chairman of the Council of Advisors of the Boao Forum for Asia, chair of the Asian Population and Development Association, and chairman of the Japan Indonesia Association. He has contributed considerably to developing Asia-Pacific interaction. He is a genuine international politician working not only for Japan’s national interests, but also for peace and prosperity in Asia and around the world. The achievements of HE. Mr. Fukuda, who still works hard for prosperity and integration in Asia, makes him deserving of the Grand Prize of the 4th Asia Cosmopolitan Awards.

Back to top page



Richard E. Baldwin

Description of the Achievements Deserving of Award

Under the guidance of Paul Krugman (Professor of the City University of New York), who received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 2008, Prof. Baldwin has accumulated excellent achievements in such economic fields as international trade, spatial economics, and economic geography. Many of the preceding international trade theories were analyses based on traditional theories, such as the Ricardian Model of Comparative Advantage and the Heckscher–Ohlin Model. However, together with Krugman and Masahisa Fujita (Professor Emeritus of Kyoto University and winner of the 3rd ACA Economic and Social Science Prize in 2017), Prof. Baldwin conducted innovative research, developing the so-called New Trade Theory (explaining intra-industry trade) and the New-New Trade Theory (explaining companies’ overseas production). He is a pioneer in the new in modern economic trends of spatial economics and economic geography.
Prof. Baldwin’s scope of interest exceeds the theoretical aspects of economics. He also actively researches practical international relations, such as economic integration, the World Trade Organization (WTO), free trade agreements (FTAs), and ideal forms of inter-regional cooperation, thereby greatly affecting policymakers around the world. Presently, he also vigorously publishes papers for the general public on globalism, protectionism, Brexit, and other issues, making him one of the world’s few researchers whose research and disseminated information are a bridge between theory and practice in international economics. Meanwhile, he has a brilliant career, indicated by his serving as a senior staff economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) in the Bush (the Elder) administration at a young age, following trade negotiations such as the GATT Uruguay Round and U.S.-Japan trade disputes.
Especially in ASEAN and East Asia, an international production network began to develop mainly in the machine industry in around 1990 ahead of other parts of the world. Prof. Baldwin saw this development as a shift, realized by the ICT revolution, from international division of labor in units of industries (first unbundling) to international division of labor in units of production processes and tasks (second unbundling), providing the theoretical basis for the concept of connectivity in ASEAN. Prof. Baldwin’s research results constitute the ideological basis of the Comprehensive Asia Development Plan (CADP) by ERIA, which asserts the importance of industry and infrastructure connectivity. His research results are also reflected in the Master Plan series on ASEAN Connectivity, official documents of ASEAN. In this sense, Prof. Baldwin has played a truly significant role in reinforcing connectivity in ASEAN, consequently realizing economic development and reducing disparity in economic development.
Moreover, in his latest book, The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization, he indicates that face-to-face communication costs are being reduced due to further progress in communication technology, and that a new phase of globalization is beginning in which international division of labor in units of persons (third unbundling) will be realized. His indications have greatly impacted people concerned around the world. According to his future vision, a so-called “virtual immigration” will be achieved, leading to progress in “telerobotics,” which will enable workers in developing countries to provide labor services in advanced countries, and in “telepresence,” which will enable brainworkers, such as engineers and lawyers, to provide their services from long distances. His vision raises the expectation that a new era for reinforcing connectivity in ASEAN and other developing countries through digital technology will come.
Regarded for his prospects for ideal visions to come in the future for industrial and trade policies and economic integration, Prof. Baldwin’s views on the global economy have great influence on government officials in Asia. In this regard, while recognizing his past contributions to economies of the world, including Asia, and hoping that he will make even more spectacular contributions in the future, the Asia Cosmopolitan Awards Selection Committee is pleased to award the Fourth ACA Economic and Social Science Prize to Prof. Richard Baldwin.

Back to top page



teamLab

Description of the Achievements Deserving of Award

The world is diverse, and has formed diverse cultures and diverse arts under diverse languages. Regardless of its approach through its many different languages and cultures, the human race is said to have touched the root of its existence through so-called “artistic language,” which is common among all races, and to have experienced “excitement” brought commonly through excellent arts. As part of an exciting artistic language, all sorts of efforts have been made for not only two-dimensional expressions such as images and paintings, but also three-dimensional expressions such as sculptures and architecture. However, regardless of various trials and errors to express artistic language, the fetters of expressive techniques up to the 20th century can be said to have stood before artists. Under too many constraints, all artists, having no choice but to accept some kinds of prohibited techniques, can be said to have sought infinite possibilities under those constraints as a way of countering the situation.
What new technologies in the 21st century have presented, has dramatically expanded the possibilities of self-realization, and created opportunities for many geniuses to be able to freely engage in creative activities linking bi-directionally through integration, rather than just creations merely by one genius. These opportunities made the idea of kyomei (inclusive resonance connectivity) come true, in which thoughts like artistic prayers are delivered to and illuminate the hearts of as many people as possible, with these people then integrating what they have received through linkage and participation. teamLab liberated the technical fetters that arts have faced by gathering talents from various fields, and by making these talents resonate, creating opportunities of “digital arts.” In addition, teamLab shared the idea of “soumoku kokudo shikkai jobutsu” (the realization of Buddhahood by grasses, trees, and the land), which indicates the Creator’s inclusiveness brought by the world of Zen Buddhism; revived a way of arts called “collective creation,” which had been practiced in renga and haikai poems in Japan, through new technologies in today’s modern age; and presented its concrete vision to the world. Calling itself “Art Collective,” teamLab, taking up the challenge of a new style of beauty, “borderless arts,” which is intended to eliminate the border between artworks and their viewers, produces creative digital artworks through its overwhelming technological capabilities that control novel ideas and technologies focusing on digital types. Artworks, which move by themselves, which can show lifelike reactions when touched, and in which viewers can become a part of the artwork by moving within it, present unprecedented development that humans have hardly ever experienced. By making full use of modern digital technologies such as light and sound, sensing and networks, as well as projection mapping, teamLab offers great immersive experiences to those watching them, and continues exploring new relationships between humans and nature, and between humans and the world. In the future where products being differentiated by functional qualities no longer an important factor, the true value of a product will lie in whether it can touch people at their very core.
The attempts of teamLab are transmitting a concrete proposal, which was created based on technologies, to the arts, which have been considered in the abstract, to bring common excitement for people. In an environment where society is becoming a place where many industries and companies cannot survive unless people see their products, services, and very existences as artistic, teamLab, which is highly valued for its concrete activities, should be the core of innovation to actively contribute to a new society, and could be described as one of the very modern cosmopolitans in Asia. With significant expectations for its great development potential in the future, and for expansion of the range of its creative activities, we would like to award the Cultural Prize of the Asia Cosmopolitan Awards to teamLab.  

Back to top page



Mieko Noguchi

Description of the Achievements Deserving of Award

Based on her unique sensitivity, indicated by selecting glasswork as her career, and her fundamental life energy distinctive of women, Ms. Noguchi has successfully merged the notions of micro-cosmos and macro-cosmos in a world where collective ability of the bodies is needed. She strives to discover the universe within her own self, living a philosophy similar to the worldview of Kukai, who asserted that the five basic elements of the universe (earth, water, fire, wind, and void) resonates in all things. By embodying the whole universe and her own self within a glass sphere, she enhances the Asian view of life’s transience, characterized by an attitude of discovering fleeting moments in nature, to the level of a magnificent mandala world.
In 2018, Ms. Noguchi was asked to create a work commemorating the 45th anniversary of Japan–ASEAN friendship. As an artwork representing Japan, her work is stored in the ASEAN Gallery in Jakarta, Indonesia. Asking viewers about the root of the universe, the work represents her worldview covering the range from earth to the galaxy from the perspectives of life and nature. The transparency of glass makes her works more mysterious. Light, which travels freely through glass and refracted, attracts viewers’ eyes and inspires them with images of the big bang generating countless numbers of stars in outer space. The value of glass art lies in being able to visualize inherently transparent air, water and space, and Ms. Noguchi continuously pursues transforming such space into art objects. Featuring a dynamic combination of her original and innovative style and her feminine and delicate sensitivity, her works are popular among many people transcending national and gender boundaries, and she holds many exhibitions both at home and abroad. While creating commemorative works for international bodies such as Toyota and Cirque du Soleil, she has also created a “glass art corridor” for the Fairmont Jakarta, Indonesia.
Since 2004, Ms. Noguchi has also been dedicated to educating disabled children in ASEAN. She continues her charity activities in cooperation with Indriya, a facility for autistics in Bogor, Indonesia. She supports the facility by creating works using glass waste together with children in the facility, and exhibiting and selling the works. The children gain confidence by seeing their works sell. In 2018, this exhibition marked its 10th anniversary. She herself continuously provides annual support, and this attitude coincides with the goal of ASEAN’s Sociocultural Community, which strives for a “community that engages and benefits people, and is inclusive, sustainable.” Hoping that she will perform even better in the field of glasswork and continue contributing greatly to cultural education and development in East Asia, the Asia Cosmopolitan Awards Selection Committee is pleased to present the ACA Cultural Prize to Ms. Mieko Noguchi.

Back to top page



Surin Pitsuwan (1949-2017)

Description of the Achievements Deserving of Award

The Memorable Prize, a special prize this time, will be awarded to the late Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, who successively held the posts of foreign minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, and as secretary-general of ASEAN. Also, having served as a member of the selection committee for the Asia Cosmopolitan Awards since its founding, even after retiring as ASEAN’s secretary-general, Dr. Surin made significant contributions to the development of the Awards as a member of the selection committee until he passed away on November 30, 2017.
A Bangkok Post editorial called him “ASEAN’s de facto foreign minister.” This was because he not only was its first secretary-general, which had a foreign ministerial rank, but also flew around the world on a daily basis as the “face of ASEAN,” attending many international forums, and giving many lectures. His lifestyle embodied his own words, “My office is in the sky.”
Dr. Surin also played an important role in implementing the ASEAN Charter, which became effective in 2008. Under his leadership, ASEAN was promoted to become a rule-based international organization with universal principles fulfilled by its ten member countries. In that sense, Dr. Surin can be described as the “father of ASEAN integration.”
Dr. Surin was very passionate in augmenting interactions with civil society organizations as part of his efforts to realize a people-centered community. He transformed the ASEAN Secretariat into a “networked Secretariat”, strengthening ties between ASEAN and the rest of the world. He fervently believed that interactions with civil society organizations would strengthen the ASEAN community. When Cyclone Nargis caused extensive damage in Myanmar in 2008, he energetically worked together with ASEAN foreign ministers to convince Myanmar’s government to allow international humanitarian teams to work alongside local civil society organizations.
He was also deeply involved in the founding of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). His belief was that world-class economic research and policy recommendations for challenges based on such research are indispensable for ASEAN’s economic progress and prosperity.
Dr. Surin risked his own life to address challenges in the East Asian region such as human rights, democracy, education, political reform, and economic integration. It is no exaggeration to say that what drove him was his love for the ASEAN region, where he lived. Praying that his soul rest in peace, we award the Memorable Prize in honor of Dr. Surin, for his deep contributions to the development of not only this region but also the world.

Back to top page