– FKI and Keidanren held Special Talks in place of the Korea-Japan Business Summit Meeting, inviting the new Keidanren Chairman for the Talks.
– Former UN Secretary General Ban, Ki-moon introduced the background for SDG adoption by the UN as well as its current status.
– Keidanren Chairman Nakanishi Hiroaki explained how Japan is achieving the SDGs with Society 5.0, a super-smart society enabled by innovative technologies.
– To achieve the SDGs, Korea needed a Korean-style strategy and model, and participants agreed on the needs for cooperation between Korean and Japanese business communities.

The Chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) shared the directions of innovation in which the Japanese business community has moved ahead with one accord, Society 5.0 and Sustainable Development Goals (“SDG”), with their Korean counterparts. This was the first time that the Keidanren Chairman personally engaged in this type of special talks.

The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) held “Special Talks on UN SDG and Society 5.0” together with the Japan Business Federation at the Lotte World Tower in Seoul on November 29, 2018. In this Special Talks designed to discuss the UN SDGs and the “Society 5.0” initiative pursued by the Japanese business circles to achieve them, eighth UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and new Keidanren Chairman Nakanishi Hiroaki took the stage as main speakers. Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon played a leading role when the SDGs were adopted at the UN General Assembly in 2015, whereas Keidanren Chairman Nakanishi Hiroaki is the very person who initially proposed Society 5.0 as an innovation strategy for Japan to the Japanese business community and has been driving the efforts enthusiastically.

It should be particularly noted that the Special Talks was a large-scale open session, which was specially organized to take the place of the Korea-Japan Business Summit Meeting this year in order to invite the new Keidanren Chairman to introduce the key agenda of the Japanese business community to their Korean counterparts and thus form consensus among participants. Mr. Nakanishi Hiroaki was appointed as the fourteenth Chair of the Japan Business Federation at the General Assembly in May 2018.

Chairman Huh Chang Soo said, “It’s time for Korean society to consider SDG as it is faced with many challenges including climate change.”

FKI Chairman Huh Chang Soo said in his opening address that the “Korean society is now faced with many challenges including climate change, low birth rates and job issues” and emphasized that “it’s time for the Korean economy to come up with a Korean model for SDG.”

Former Secretary General Ban took the podium as a keynote presenter. He gave his diagnosis of the present time that “climate change and income inequality are fundamental threats to the sustainable development of the world.” He added that “all stakeholders including the Government, civil society and businesses should promote the 17 sustainable development goals to transform our world in the economic, social and environmental areas,” emphasizing that “the SDGs are not the UN’s but they are yours, that is, those of the businesses who put them into practice.”

In his keynote presentation, Keidanren Chairman Nakanishi defined Society 5.0 as a super-smart society where we could resolve various social challenges and create new values by incorporating digital innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). To explain how the specific SDGs could be achieved through Society 5.0, he went on to introduce case studies on
▶ the realization of smart cities through data sharing,
▶ microgrids controlling power supply at the regional level,
▶ disaster responses through fast information sharing,
▶ personalized active health care utilizing IT devices,
▶ improvement of agricultural productivity and optimization of the Value Chain through big data analytics, and
▶ autonomous vehicles, drones and robots replacing human resources in the field of logistics.

Need to develop a Korean SDG model as well as to seek Korea-Japan cooperation for SDG

In the talks following keynote presentations, Former Secretary General Ban stressed the necessity of Korea’s own strategy like Japan’s Society 5.0 as there was no keen interest in SDGs or high awareness of them in Korea. Saying that it was important for the entire society to sympathize with the UN SDGs, Chairman Nakanishi introduced various campaigns initiated by the Japanese economic circles to boost public awareness, such as the “Wear the SDG Badge” campaign, and he actually handed out the badges to all the participants. Besides this, he delivered a positive outlook on the possibility of mutual cooperation in relation to pursuits for SDG, considering the issues that both countries have in common, such as population aging, polarization and fine dusts.

FKI Vice Chairman and CEO Kwon Tae-shin said, “With both countries facing similar social issues, Society 5.0 as the Japanese business community’s unique SDG model is a great stimulus for our business community,” expressing his hope that “the Special Talks will serve as an opportunity to start considering a Korean SDG model and to initiate cooperation for SDGs between the two countries.

Source: FKI