Conceived to promote dialogue between the Arab world and Japan, the symposium on "Cultural Diversity and Globalization: the Arab-Japanese Experience, a Cross-Regional Dialogue" provided a framework for fruitful exchanges in order to highlight the shared experiences between two regions apparently worlds apart culturally and geographically but historically comparable.
The principal objective of the symposium, the proceedings of which are presented here, was to analyze the notion of modernization in terms of openness towards other cultures. Indeed, it was this modernization process that shaped fundamental evolutions - sometimes convergent, sometimes divergent - in Japan as well as in the Arab world. In both cases, modernization has been analysed as a process of "critical receptiveness" towards inputs from elsewhere.
The modus operandi of this process - success, failures or conflicts - were examined with a view to highlighting exogenous and endogenous limitations.
In this perspective, the critical relationship between dialogue and cultural diversity has shifted: cultural diversity is no longer a defender of traditions, and dialogue provides access to the world's cultural resources and has become synonymous with modernization.