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1.7 The Central Role of Japan

Although go originated in China, there should be universal agreement that Japan is now the center of the go world. Japan should therefore be in the best position to propagate go throughout the world. One could go so far as to say that Japan has a duty to spread go to the rest of the world. Eventually, such efforts will surely make a great contribution to international good-will, and we can expect the enlargement of the world's go-playing population to give major impetus to the future development of go. For these reasons as well, the establishment of an international set of go rules is an important issue in which Japan should take a leading part.

I do not think it is unreasonable for Japanese professional players, whose reputations and livlihoods are at stake in every game they play, to be extremely reluctant to change from the rules they are familiar with to a new set of rules. But if Japan does not establish a logical set of rules, when go becomes more international in the future, the Chinese rules may be recognized as the international rules.

There would be nothing wrong with that, but apart from the question of China versus Japan, considering the great merits of territory rules (provided they are made logical), there is an urgent need for territory rules to be formulated in a rational way. One way of doing this might be to start by applying the new rules only in amateur tournaments. Going a little further, another option might be to apply them in a limited range of professional tournaments. Then if they are eventually applied in international tournaments, there is no doubt that go will spread even more widely.

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