"The Rise of Contemporary China and the Transformation of the Asia-Pacific : Current Politics and Future Prospects"
Dr. Roger Buckley

First of all, thank you for coming to the forum despite of your business. It was really great opportunity to know the situation of Hong Kong. I appreciate for your coming. From here below, I’ll write about what I thought after the forum.

First, I agree on your pessimistic view on the future of Hong Kong and the simile with the Trojan Horse for the democracy is really persuasive. But as for your optimistic part of view to keep away from the obedience to the mainland China, I’m more pessimistic especially in the political aspect. If other countries in East Asia really exceed in the freedom and such values, it would have influence for China to open their country more, and accept further democratic systems. However, in such transitional situation from communism to democracy, mainland China would be more reluctant to have democratic region inside the country to moderate the movement to the democracy. On the other hand, such regional influence may contribute to the maintenance of the position of Hong Kong in economic privilege, since the expansion of free trade is much less controversial issue in China, and to have such special zone is common in China so it would be broader room to accept the special position of Hong Kong in economics. So through this argument, my view of future Hong Kong is that they keep the advantaged position in economics though the gap may shrink but they would lose the privilege in political sense even if China will slowly move to democratic regime.

As for the last discussion, my conclusion is that Hong Kong is really great city we need to deepen our relationship with, but to pick out special position on Hong Kong is overrated. We cannot have political impact through Hong Kong to China. In economic viewpoint, I agree that Hong Kong would be one of the most attractive cities to put the branch with the loose restriction on the business, accumulation of resources. But I think these merits aren’t the crucial difference from other cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou. So the importance of Hong Kong still exists for Japan, but I believe we don’t need to put special focus to on Hong Kong; just see them parallel to other prosperous cities in China.

At last, I want to show my deepest gratitude for your lecture again. Since I didn’t know much about Hong Kong, it was great opportunity for me to deepen my knowledge on Hong Kong and great trigger for me to have interest there. Thank you very much.
(Masafumi Kawasaki)