Achieving UN SDGs, fisheries reform key objectives of 2019 Tokyo Seafood Symposium
The fifth annual Tokyo Seafood Symposium will see the event expanded to two days and include the launch of the inaugural Tokyo Sustainable Seafood Award, the event’s organizers announced recently.
The award recognizes and celebrates leaders who have contributed to Japan’s sustainable seafood movement with two categories: 1) the Collaboration category, focused on pre-competitive collaboration between multi-stakeholder groups, and 2) the Initiative category, focused on strong leadership from a single organization.
The symposium will take place on 7 and 8 November, 2019, at the Iino Hall & Conference Center in Tokyo, Japan. The event will be hosted by Seafood Legacy and Nikkei ESG and co-hosted by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Walton Family Foundation. Seafood Legacy Co., Ltd. is a social venture based in Tokyo which provides sustainable seafood consulting and platforming services to Japanese businesses and government. Seafood Legacy also strategically networks seafood businesses and NGOs to foster pre-competitive platform to solve mutual issues that various stakeholders face in Japan and the world, according to the organization. Nikkei ESG is a premier Japanese monthly magazine that is published by Nikkei Business Publications, Inc and features original articles regarding corporate ESG (environmental, social, and governance) initiatives and institutional investor trends.
The symposium will build on the success of last year’s program, which included 64 speakers and 600 attendees, making it the largest sustainable seafood conference in Japan and one of the biggest in the world. The 2018 program included a mix of international and Japanese speakers and opened with a series of keynotes delivered by Walton Family Foundation Executive Director Kyle Peterson; Hideo Suzuki, the ambassador, director general and assistant minister for global issues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan; Alan Orreal, the culinary director of the Shanghai Disney Resort; Japan Ministry of the Environment Permanent Secretary Hideka Morimoto; and Fisheries Agency Japan Director General Shigeto Hase. The program included panels on Japan’s performance on meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, increasing seafood sustainability at the 2020 Olympics, and business commitments in seafood.
The expansion of the symposium to two days reflects the increasing focus on sustainability in Japan with the seafood industry and with consumers.
“Since the inception of the symposium in 2015, we have witnessed significant growth in market engagement.” Seafood Legacy CEO Wakao Hanaoka said. “Japanese businesses are becoming more proactive on achieving SDGs and incorporating ESG management into their business practices. Recently, the Japanese government announced the most significant reform of its fisheries laws in 70 years, fundamentally redefining the fishing regulations and resource management systems. Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games are also just around the corner. The window of opportunity is upon us and we are excited to celebrate the initiatives and design the next steps with the participants.”
The 2020 Olympics have been a significant milestone for a number of years to incentivize Japanese businesses commitments around sustainable seafood, Hanaoka said. The upcoming symposium will be the last before the Olympics and will provide an opportunity to celebrate the progress and success of policy improvements and business commitments spurred on by the Olympics, he said.
Along with celebrating achievements, this year’s symposium will continue discussions with Japanese and global seafood stakeholders working to achieve 2030 SDGs and to improve seafood market in Japan, Asia, and the world. The program will also focus on corporate initiatives in Japan highlighting global issues that Japanese industry can impact including IUU fishing, responsible and ethical consumption, and supply chain transparency. The program will provide English and Japanese translation.
Registration is free of charge and is open to international participants. For more information, visit the Tokyo Sustainable Seafood Symposium’s website.