Today is the second day of the Global Agenda Seminar Series (GAS) 2012. At the first session held in mid January, Dr. Tsuneo Watanabe, Senior Fellow of Tokyo Foundation, our guest, explained the importance of Grand Strategy for the country (and company, individual) and how the Op-Ed is written and for what purposes. For the second session, we selected Trans Pacific Partnership(TPP) as the topic for discussion.
As always, our assignment was some basic reading about the topic and the written report. This time, we assigned the participants into three groups–one representing the U.S., another China and the other Japan. Each participants was asked to write one’s view about TPP from the country’s perspective they are assigned. We made it quite open-ended so that they can focus on any aspect of TPP. The only rule was that they need to think and state their view, from the perspective of the country each member is assigned.
After the initial awkward moment of some hesitation, however, the discussion became quite lively. I was impressed by the willingness of each participant to speak up and to argue back and forth. As I found out later during the informal get-together with participants, the clear view is not quite welcome, it seems, in most cases in the Japanese context. The argument and discussion is not that encouraged, either, I found.
The session ended with my comments as to the objective of this type of role play, its use and application, together with some tips on how to do. Dr. Watanabe made very helpful comments both for the substance and the style of expression.
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