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The G1 Summit was born in Aizu-Bandai in February 2009. The G1 Summit was created as a platform where leaders in various fields can meet, learn, discuss and take action under the concept of “making a better Japan.”

The inaugural G1 Summit was attended by 107 participants. Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, who appeared on stage in a keynote session, was shortly to receive the Nobel Prize, and Mr. Seiji Maehara, a politician who participated in the summit, was later to be appointed a cabinet minister. Mr. Hiroshige Seko, another participant in the political field, has been a key member of the cabinet since the start of the second Abe administration as the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary. G1 leaders thus hold central positions in politics or play a pivotal role in the economic field, creating innovation across a wide spectrum of areas.

Hori Pict

The G1 Summit has since been held in a different location every year. In 2013, the G1 Summit took the form of a general incorporated association named the “G1 INSTITUTE.” The G1 INSTITUTE has grown to the extent that it now hosts seven annual conferences including the G1 Summit. The six other conferences are: G1 Global Conference, G1 Executive, G1 U-40, G1 Venture, G1 Region, and G1 College.

Numerous initiatives have been spawned from the discussions at the G1 Summit, including KIBOW, Athlete Society, Tokyo Harvest, and Eat, and Energize the East, and are changing Japan in various fronts. Six separate G1 sub-sections are also organized for each key area—Politics, Governors & Mayors Network, Bureaucrats, Media, Social Entrepreneurs & NPOs, and Sports—where leaders representing each of these areas meet regularly.

The plans under the 100 Actions project launched by the G1 Summit have gradually been put into action to bring about change in society. In fiscal 2014, foundation membership (FM) for G1 members in the business category was introduced to strengthen the financial base.

The three principles of the G1 Summit are as follows:

(1) Make proposals rather than mere criticism
(2) Take actions, do not just form ideas
(3) Foster awareness as leaders

One key phrase often used at the G1 Summit is “responsibility of the generation.” It is the responsibility of the current generation to address various issues that we are facing, such as the declining birthrate, fiscal reform, energy, education, and recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, rather than postponing them to future generations. We must create a country that our descendants can be proud of. It is in the spirit of fulfiling this responsibility that leaders sharing the same aspiration meet, discuss and define a vision for the country, and take action.

In order for each one of us to pursue what action should be taken and cooperate with other like-minded leaders in our attempt to fight outdated norms and change the future world, the G1 Summit will continue to serve as a platform that will link people and ideas.

We are the ones who will create the Japan of 2020 and beyond.

Yoshito Hori
President, G1 INSTITUTE
President, GLOBIS University
Managing Partner, GLOBIS Capital Partners