In this inaugural UK-Japan Student Conference, we addressed the issue of poverty in the UK and Japan, analysing the causes and consequences, and debating what policies and strategies would be effective in reducing & eliminating material deprivation. Poverty is a significant issue worldwide, and economically developed countries such as Japan and the UK are no exceptions. The nature of poverty in prosperous countries, its mechanism and its solutions can be different from that in developing countries. For instance, expenses for uniforms and stationery to join companies and attend schools filter out those who barely meet the minimum standard of living. In developed countries, these expenses tend to be overlooked. In order to prevent increasing wealth disparities, it is important to raise public awareness towards social and economic factors that work against people in poverty.
We realise that in many cases, those who are experiencing poverty are separated from the ones with social impact that can change the situation. Therefore, it is crucial to make their voices audible so that they can make a difference. Our mission is to foster deeper understanding towards these social issues through active discussion. The conference consists of a series of discussions and seminars, fieldwork with social sectors, and a wrap-up group presentation. We encourage participants to discuss freely, exchange thoughts and ideas, and share their visions towards a sustainable society.