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理事長からの挨拶( Message from the President)




青沼 智


The Japan Debate Association (JDA) was inaugurated in March 1986 with the aim of promoting debate activities and developing debate skills in Japan.

Debate is a competitive form of communication conducted according to specific rules, where two teams–the “Affirmative” and the “Negative”–oppose each other on an issue. The Affirmative team stands in favor of the proposition, called a “resolution”, and the negative team takes a stand against it, in one of several ways. Each side presents its own case based on research and analysis of the resolution, and advocates this stand throughout the debate by responding to and refuting their opponents’ arguments.

The primary purpose of debate is to persuade a third party, that is, the debate judge and/or the audience. Debate is a very effective tool for making decisions in the various situations we face daily in society. It is, therefore, used in education and training programs to develop essential abilities, such as researching and analyzing specific issues, thinking critically, logically and rhetorically, conducting reasoned discourse, and making informed decisions.

As Japan works to maintain and increase its role in the international arena, it is called upon to make choices which negotiates between its own priorities as a nation and those of the rest in the world, and to advocate the validity and reasonableness of these choices in a persuasive manner. Equally important, within the Japanese society it will become more and more necessary to identify unequivocally where disagreements lie, and to work out constructive solutions which take a number of different opinions and standpoints respectfully into account. We take this as the special requirements of today’s diverse society, where argumentation and debate promote, rather than preclude, harmonious and just results.

In a country where the powers that be take “tacit understanding” as their preferred form of communication, debate tends to be devalued and discouraged. Informed by the radical democratic tradition, the need for debate in Japanese society and education has been advocated more often than not. However, what might be called a debate tradition has not necessarily taken firm root in the country’s civil society. It is the task of debaters, judges, and aspiring practitioners of debate throughout Japan to collaborate in order to promote sound debate activities. As the country’s premier debate organization, we are determined to further assist anyone who loves and practices sound debate.

Satoru Aonuma

February, 2021