The Fondation France Japon (FFJ) de l’EHESS aims to promote academic collaboration, to enhance dialogue and exchanges between France and Japan, and to support research in the field of humanities and social sciences. On June 4th 2019, the FFJ organised an international conference for its 10th anniversary, hosted by the Maison de la Culture du Japon in Paris (MCJP).
This symposium, entitled “Growth, Innovation and Inequalities, What the world can learn from Japan?” was driven from a perspective that is both multidisciplinary and combines the views of France and Japan. This event brought together researchers in the field of humanities and social sciences from Japanese and French Universities, private sector representatives, officials of international organizations and political figures. The conference discussed some of the major economic, political and societal challenges of the 21st century (growing inequalities, population ageing, increasing urbanization). Possible solutions have been put into perspective with the role of various actors: technological innovations, public redistribution policies, international standards and indicators.
Virginie Troit, Executive Director of the French Red Cross Foundation was invited as a panellist to attend the round table n°3 “What inequalities? What are the answers? Inclusive growth or redistribution?”. Her intervention focused on the role of civil society in addressing the effects of inequality, and in particular that of the Red Cross-Red Crescent Movement, whose international Federation is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
Virginie Troit tackled the role of the humanitarian sector and research in developing responses. Her presentation highlighted the need for vigilance and analysis of unintentional mechanisms to reproduce certain inequalities, through levers such as funding. The case of Africa and the comparison of scientific research production and local NGO funding with Japan, France and other countries must be addressed. This is particularly true at a time when sub-Saharan Africa is concentrating a large proportion of humanitarian needs and when population growth suggests that these needs will increase over the next 10 years.