Z. Sonoda It is my great honour to declare the opening of the 2nd IBM Japan International Symposium on 'The Global Environment'. It is especially my honour, on behalf of IBM Japan, to welcome all of you most distinguished experts of the world. Historically, IBM Japan has maintained a strong interest in the protection of the global environment, not only as a member of the industrial community, but also as a member of the global community where environmental disruption has become more and more significant and of common concern. In 1990, we held the first environmental symposium on 'Global Warming'. It offered a stage to which both social and natural scientists could bring problems about 'The Global Environment' for in-depth discussions. One of its conclusions includes collaboration about socio economic aspects among the industrialized and developing countries. With this in mind, we now host the 2nd symposium which focuses upon a socio-economic approach to global environmental problems. I understand that the symposium will seek a solution by examining actual experiences and circumstances from various parts of the world, with special attention given to North/South issues. Thus, we have invited guests from America, Europe, and neighbouring Asian countries alike. I wish, and believe, that the symposium will bring about new clues, toward a breakthrough for the betterment of the environment through positive and harmonious discussions in this beautiful setting at the foot of Mt Fuji.