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Be the Change Initiative

The adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, with its core set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are the UN’s blueprint for achieving a happier and healthier world by 2030. But how do we all manifest these goals in our own lives? The Be the Change Initiative provides an opportunity for all of us to better “walk the talk” when it comes to the SDGs. This initiative guides and encourages us to live more sustainable in work and at home by changing our consumption patterns, using active transport such as cycling, and buying local foods.

Katsuhiro Asagiri

President, Asia-Pacific Affairs

Katsuhiro Asagiri is President of INPS Japan, President of Global Cooperation Council for Asian-Pacific Affairs, Tokyo correspondent and Asia-Pacific Bureau Chief of IDN-InDepthNews, a flagship of International Press Syndicate. Born in Okayama in 1965, Asagiri is a Japanese citizen.

History, Geography and Political Science make up his educational background (B.A. in Education, from Okayama National University, Japan, B.S. in Geography and Master's degree in Development Administration (MDA) from Western Michigan University, the U.S.A. From 1986-87 he worked in Kibbutz Megiddo, Israel while conducting researches on history and international relations in Europe and the Middle East.

From 1991-92 he lectured on Japanese History, US-Japan relationship and role of media at WMU while serving as a graduate assistant for Dr. Lawrence Ziring at the Institute of Government and Politics, conducting researches on human right issues in the Dominican Republic with a renowned Geographer Dr. Oscar H. Horst. Their research article was published in Geographical Review, NY, 2000: www.jstor.org/pss/3250857).

Back to Japan in 1992, he was appointed as a staff writer and editor for a monthly development magazine with APIC. He wrote and coordinated many articles and reports on ODA, CSOs, and development related issues commissioned by MOFA and private foundations. His publications include “The Mechanism of Accepting Economic Assistance by foreign NGOs (Nepal, Bhutan, India, Bangladesh)” (1997) , “The Economic and Social Conditions of the Dominican Republic” (1997), “Present condition and the problem on STD infection surrounding youth in Asia (Nepal, Bangladesh, and Greater Mekong Region)” (2000, 2001), “The Odyssey of Japanese Colonists in the Dominican Republic” (2000).

He planned and coordinated many international conferences in Japan, the U.S.A , and Asian countries for high level policy dialogues including the Asia-Pacific Symposium in Hawaii in January 2000 making it the first joint symposium by government (ODA policy dialogues), corporations and foundations as well as CSOs from Japan and the U.S.A. From 1999-2001, he served as a general coordinator for CART (Common Agenda Roundtable), a government consultative body, presided over by Mr. Gaishi Hiraiwa, the honorary chairperson of Keidanren(Federation of Economic Organizations) and contributed to promoting public-private partnership by bridging CART with Japanese CSOs and its US counterparts through managing several joint development projects.

During this period, as a head of Research Office at APIC, he subcontracted with IPS for ODA research projects on HIV/AIDS and human trafficking in several Asian countries. From 2002-2004, he served as Deputy Secretary General of WYPS Japan office to organize a series of international symposia with themes on interfaith dialogues in Bangkok, Tokyo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He founded with a group of colleagues IPS Japan as an independent entity to support activities of IPS International News Agency in May 2003.

Since 2004, he has been a member of Ozaki Yukio Memorial Foundation's Seikei Konwa-kai (The Ozaki Public Policy Study meeting where senior policy makers, royal family members and opinion leaders are invited to give off-the-record lectures on latest trends in politics, economics and social issues.) He was elected as President of IPS Japan at a general assembly meeting in August 2007. In September 2008, he was appointed as Japan representative for the World Political Forum (WPF), an initiative founded by Mikhail Gorbachev.In 2010, he was appointed as president of  Global Cooperation Council for Asia-Pacific Affairs and Tokyo correspondent as well as Bureau Chief of IDN-InDepthNews Asia-Pacific, a flagship of International Press Syndicate. He became President of International Press Syndicate Japan in April 2016.

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