There is a membership organization by the name of The Middle East Research Institute of Japan (MEIJ). The Chair is Mr. Mikio Sasaki, former chairman of the board of Mitsubishi Corporation, and the President is HE Tatsuo Arima (in Japanese), former Special Representative of the Government of Japan who had done a significant job for many years.
I was invited to give a lecture at its breakfast meeting on current status of higher education and science and technology policy in the Middle East.
MEIJ supported the Japan Arab Economic Forum held in Tunis last December, and I was invited there also.
Most of the members are from business sector, so I thought that my contribution on this theme would be somewhat limited, but I tried to speak as open mindedly and straightforwardly as possible based on my personal experience.
I assume that you already know from my postings on this web site about my activities in the Mid East/Islam such as Egypt, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or Qatar (please search within this site by these key words..) I focused my lecture on those activities, their relations with Japan, the revolution that took place one week after my departure from Tunis, and issues between the Mid East and Japan in coming years, particularly after the revolution.
I always appreciate such opportunities, since I learn a lot from exchanging open and straightforward views with people that are in very different areas than myself.
I would be more than happy if I could have other such opportunities.