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Today, May 13 marks the beginning of the Second Term of Global Agenda Seminar 2012.  The topic for this term is Food Security and we had Mr. Mitsuhiro Yokohama, former Director, Liaison Office in Japan of Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as our guest.

Mr. Yokoyama gave us a comprehensive overview of the food security issues, under the title of Changing World Food Market and Challenges in the Context of Food Security.  As we listened to his lecture, I could not but think how food security should be considered in the political, economic and social contexts and how inter-related and complex it is. Food is the necessity for our survival and thus food security is of  critical importance  for all of us.

What impressed me was that the food security issue needs to be considered and dealt with not as a domestic issue, but as global agenda.  I just came back from African Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where agricultural reform and transformation was discussed. As  I realize that many Sub-Sahara Africa is now faced with the hunger, the food security issue which was a bit far and distant  has become much more immediate issue for me.

Q & A with Mr. Yokoyama helped us understand the diverse views of the issue and the difficulty to resolve the issue, at the same time.

We then had ice-breaking game with 21 participants (one was absent) for the second term of GAS2012.  Mr. Yokoyama, Ms. Kobayashi and myself joined the game.  We tried a  different game from the one we used for the First term (we tried this one for the first time), and it was fun.

I then shared my impression of St. Gallen Symposium at St. Gallen, Switzerland and of African Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, followed by some questions from the participants.

We then moved on to our get-together where I talked with many more people, going from one table to another.   I am very much looking forward to the exciting and stimulating discussion.

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