Over 50 people attended the first UNITAR Hiroshima Public Session of 2010, entitled "The Global Economic Crisis and Japan's Future", held at the UNITAR offices on Wednesday 27 January. Attendees were greeted by the Head of UNITAR Hiroshima, Mr. Alex Mejia and received a brief outline of the new focus of the office in regards to outreach with the Hiroshima community, as developed between UNITAR, Hiroshima Prefecture, the City of Hiroshima and the Chugoku Newspaper.

Following this initial briefing, Mr. Mejia delivered a presentation focusing on the Causes, Impacts, Responses and Outlook of the Global Economic Crisis which began in 2007. Approaching the issue from global, regional and Japan based perspectives, Mr. Mejia outlined the inherent interconnectedness of todays global economy as evidenced by the contagion spread by the US Housing Crisis. After examining Japan's economic outlook in regards to the factors covered earlier in the presentation, Mr. Mejia handed over to the evenings second presenter, Professor Osamu Yoshida.

Professor Yoshida, Secretary General of the Partnership Project for Social Capacity Development for Peacebuilding and International Cooperation (HiPeC) at Hiroshima University, gave a dynamic presentation on Japanese Reactions and Political Reform in regards to the Global Economic Crisis. Professor Yoshida outlined a confluence of crises which impacted Japan, asking the question, Economic Crisis and Political Crisis: Which came first? Through the course of his Presentation, the Professor gave explanations as to how the distributive system in Japan can be restored while stressing the need for long-term solutions to the crisis as well as the development of a social consensus.

UNITAR would like to thank Professor Yoshida, HiPeC and all of its counterparts at Hiroshima University, as well as Hiroshima Prefecture and Hiroshima City for their continued support of UNITAR and the Public Session Series. Thanks also go to the attendees of the Session, members of the local community, for taking the time to join us at such a timely and relevant discussion.