Events category: Seminar

12 March 2015

Glenn Gould and Natsume Soseki

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Three Cornered World, Alan Turney’s award-winning translation of Kusamakura by Japan’s great literary maestro Natsume Soseki (1867-1916). Two years after it was published, the translation was read by the world’s most famous pianist Glenn Gould (1932-82). The Three Cornered World was not only to become Gould’s favourite book, but also one that would obsess Gould for the last 15 years of his life.

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18 February 2015

Japan’s Foreign Policy: Challenges and Prospects in Japan-China Relations

Japan and China have cultivated a very close relationship. Because of this close relationship, it is inevitable that frictions and confrontations should sometimes occur. Ambassador Yamagami will present his unique perspectives on these issues, and talks about recent developments between the two countries, including the Japan-China Summit Meeting.

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12 February 2015

Report From Fukushima: Health Issues After the 2011 Nuclear Incident

Dr Tsubokura and Dr Morita are medical doctors based at Minamisoma General Municipal Hospital and Soma Central Hospital, located in coastal cities of Fukushima Prefecture (Minamisoma City and Soma City, 15-40km north of the nuclear plant). They gave a talk on the current local situation in the context of radiation issues and other public health problems that have arisen after the incident.

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9 December 2014

Dealing with North Korea

North Korea is arguably the world’s most troublesome country. It is expanding both its plutonium and enriched uranium paths to a nuclear weapon and it is also presumed to have the world’s only active chemical weapons programme. Meanwhile, its deplorable human rights situation is without parallel.
Pyongyang hasn’t taken any steps that would enable resumption of the long-stalled Six Party Talks. What is hindering the process and what is the underlying historical context of the Talks?

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18 November 2014

Surviving the Tsunami: Salvaging and Digitalising Historical Photographs

Rikuzentakata, a city in Iwate Prefecture, lost more than 1,500 people and 80 percent of its homes in the tsunami in March 2011. The city’s museums, too, were not spared: The Rikuzentakata City Museum, which held an important collection on the history, folklore and natural history of the region, was completely destroyed. Much of its collection was swept away and its entire staff was killed. Keishi Mitsui, curator at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, talked about the salvaging operation underway to preserve these photographic materials and share lessons learned in order to plan for future disasters.

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30 October 2014

Fukushima Daiichi: Coping after a major nuclear accident

It is clear from the accidents at Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima Daiichi (2011) that severe nuclear accidents can occur, even if infrequently, meaning that coping strategies need to be developed in advance. Any mitigation strategy adopted will find itself in the spotlight of national and world opinion, and needs to be capable of rigorous justification, both to experts in the field and also to politicians and the general public, who have a particular fear of nuclear radiation.

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22 September 2014

University Reform in Japan

The Japanese Government is vigorously promoting university reform, and many universities are grappling with their own problems brought on by demographic change in Japan and various other issues.
Nagoya University is opening Asian Satellite Campuses in October 2014 in Vietnam, Cambodia and Mongolia to help train a greater number of graduates in these countries. In this session, President Michinari Hamaguchi of Nagoya University will explain some of the contentions regarding these reforms, and consider the problems Japanese universities will face in the future.

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30 September 2014

Keeping the doors open between China and Japan - the role of personal networks and Track II diplomacy

Track II Diplomacy is a way for private individuals to meet unofficially and find their way to common ground when official negotiators cannot. NGOs, academics, and ex-officials often act as Track II diplomats in having unofficial conferences and conversations about pressing issues, and have sometimes brought them to a successful conclusion. Official government-to-government interactions are not necessarily the most effective methods for resolving differences between nations.

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19 September 2014

Excavating cultural heritage: the archaeological implications of the Great East Japan disaster three years on

As well as the terrible human cost, the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the Pacific coast of northern Honshu in March 2011 had a major impact on cultural heritage.

In the first instance a number of museums, stores and other facilities were directly damaged, and great quantities of heritage materials, both public and personal, were lost. This initial impact was to an extent mitigated by a programme of ‘cultural heritage rescue’. A second impact has been on buried archaeological sites and the important remains they contain in advance of the redevelopment of the region.

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