Events category: Annual Seminar Series

29 November 2018

Approaching a new nuclear threat age - what can we learn from Hiroshima?

President Donald Trump recently announced his intention to withdraw the US from its nuclear arms treaty with Russia and his desire to develop the US nuclear arsenal. The news shocked civil society in both Europe and Japan. This seminar looked at the challenges facing nuclear treaties in the current international context and discussed the lessons that can be learnt from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. Michimasa Hirata, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, spoke about his experiences during and after the nuclear explosion.

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22 November 2018

New approaches to security: Does Japan have other options than the US?

Japan’s foreign and security policy has remained unchanged under the leadership of Prime Minister Abe, and the Japan-US alliance remains strong. However, this relationship is by no means assured and with the Trump administration anything could happen. In the longer term, America may become a less reliable ally and weaken its obligations to defend Japan. These changes in the international landscape raise numerous questions surrounding the US-Japan Security Treaty. This seminar addressed these questions and discuss how Japan should best maintain its peace and prosperity in this new age.

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25 October 2018

New approaches to addressing climate change in the UK and Japan

Temperatures soared this summer in both the UK and Japan and global temperatures continue to rise faster than the rate predicted by climate modelling. This raises many questions about the implications of climate change, which this seminar attempted to address. Professor Sam Fankhauser and Dr Takeshi Kuramochi outlined the current patterns of climate change and discussed the social, economic and environmental consequences of climate change. They then analysed current government policies which are being implemented to deal with climate change.

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3 October 2018

New Approaches to Ainu Contemporary Art

Despite facing discrimination in Japan, the indigenous Ainu people have maintained their own culture and art. The Ainu have developed their art through their everyday life and it has its own unique value and beauty. Surprisingly, Ainu art has been largely ignored in Japan but has received attention in other countries such as the UK. In this seminar the Ainu artist Toru Kaizawa will talk about his passion for Ainu contemporary art; Professor Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere will explain why she values Ainu contemporary art; and Professor Simon Kaner will explore Ainu art from a historical perspective.

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6 September 2018

Archives and secret papers: uncovering hidden truth

We live in a world where we are surrounded by endless information.  However, when information is so readily available, how do we tell fact from fiction?  In this seminar, three journalists, who specialise in uncovering new facts by using National Archives, will discuss how public documents can be used to reveal government secrets, both past and present, and uncover the truth in Japan and the UK.  Although the use of archives is a long-standing journalistic practice, in our information saturated societies, it may take on new importance in the dissemination of knowledge.

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26 June 2018

New Approaches: #MeToo in Japan and the UK

The #MeToo movement is a campaign that has enabled thousands of people around the world to speak out about sexual misconduct. In this seminar, the impact of #MeToo was discussed in relation to the UK and Japan. The speakers outlined the implications and effects the movement has had across each society and the extent to which it may impact government policies and legislation, as well as the challenges that the movement faces.

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1 January 2018

New Approaches in the UK and Japan

The world is always changing, and currently, changes in the international environment seem particularly wrenching. This reshaping of the international environment brings new challenges, most obviously on the security and trade front. Our seminar series this year focuses on some of these issues, particularly on those that are rising up the agenda because of the appearance of either new problems, or possible new solutions.

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17 July 2017

History and the Tokyo 2020 Games

In this seminar, speakers discussed the history and the future of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the lead up to Tokyo 2020. We were delighted to invite Japanese Olympian ice skater Fumie Suguri, and British Paralympic long-distance runner Noel Thatcher to share their experiences with us. Alongside them Dr Vassil Girginov discussed how both the Games have developed, and their role in modern global society.

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28 June 2017

Historical Issues and Peace Building: Japan, China and the two Koreas

Japan, China and the two Koreas have struggled to understand each other’s different perspectives on historical issues, and this has been preventing constructive diplomatic dialogue between them. In this seminar, we talked about the difficulties of handling historical issues affecting the region, and discussed what could be done to build peace in North East Asia for future generations.

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