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The Second East Asia Local and Regional Government Congress held

 The Second East Asia Local and Regional Government Congress was held in Nara Prefecture from October 18 to 26, with the participation of 45 local governments from China, India, Philippines, ROK, Vietnam and Japan. The East Asia Local and Regional Government Congress is an international conference planned and hosted by Nara Prefectural Government and the first Congress was held in October last year.

 The objectives of the second Congress were to provide opportunities for local and regional governments to learn from each other and enhance relations of trust and friendship among them in accordance with the Nara Charter adopted in 2010. The Congress consisted of a program for chief delegates (including discussions among heads of local and regional governments) and a program for working-level officials (including sessions for exchanging views), which was introduced this year. During this program, participating officials reported on their local and regional realities and challenges in various areas, and learned how to enhance the administrative capacity of their governments.

 Specifically, the program for working-level officials included case study sessions focusing on areas of tourism, community development and cultural heritage conservation, held under the theme of “New Roles of Local and Regional Governments.” Each of these sessions consisted of a lecture by a lecturer and case reports by local and regional governments. The program also included an Executive Seminar of the Aspen Institute Japan, which was held for the first time in Nara Prefecture. Collaboration with the Aspen Institute Japan helped encourage fruitful discussions among participants. In this program, the Second East Asia Local and Regional Government Congress and the Aspen Institute Japan Joint Symposium was also held. In the context of increasing globalization in a wide range of fields, participants discussed the leadership required of local government, residents and corporations to resolve local challenges.

 Meanwhile, the program for chief delegates included group discussion sessions, held under the themes of “Risk Management” and “Regional Development.” Under the direction of coordinator Nobuo Ishihara, president of the Research Institute for Local Government, heads of local and regional governments discussed in groups policy determinations and decisions by leaders and each group presented the outcome of their discussion.
 At the plenary session of the program, participants reported on their project outcomes, approved new member governments, adopted the Second East Asia Local and Regional Government Congress Joint Statement, and decided to hold the third Congress in 2012.
Contact : East Asia Partnership Division, Regional Development Department, Nara Prefectural Government
Phone or E-mail 0742-27-5822
Website http://www.pref.nara.jp/dd_aspx_itemid-73779.htm#moduleid22967