2011 Minato Citizen's University at Temple University, Japan Campus
"Rebranding Japan Post-3/11"
Jointly hosted by Minato Kissport Foundation and TUJ

Dates
Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday, November 7, 9, 11, 14 & 16
Time
19:00-20:30 (Door opens at 18:30)
Venue
Temple University, Japan Campus, Mita Hall 5F (Access)
Cost
2,500 yen for five lectures
(TUJ will notify bank account details by e-mail.)
Capacity
50 (First-come, first-served)
To Register
Registration is closed as it has reached seating capacity.

Lecture 1

Date:
Monday, November 7
Topic:
From the Ground Up: Volunteers Rebuilding Japan
Lecturer:
Kyle Cleveland, Associate Professor of Sociology

The 3.11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami have had a profound impact on Japanese society. In addition to the ongoing safety and energy concerns precipitated by the nuclear crisis, an entire region has been devastated by this disaster, with long-term implications for Japan's economic and political prospects. The scope of this crisis has proved to be beyond the capacity of the Japanese government to respond effectively, resulting in a loss of public confidence about the viability of political institutions. Yet while state politics have floundered, in the public sector, non-profit organizations (NPOs) and volunteers have reinvigorated civil society, contributing to the rebuilding of Japan. For young people, after decades of inner-directed preoccupation with consumer society and mass media, the quake has opened new opportunities for civic engagement and provided inspiration to participate in a national effort of recovery. This presentation will discuss the implications of the quake for civil society, and address how volunteers are recalibrating priorities for the coming generation, and reconceiving citizens' relation to the government and public institutions.

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Lecture 2

Date:
Wednesday, November 9
Topic:
U.S.-Japan Cooperation in Disaster Response and Recovery
Lecturer:
CDR Spencer Abbot & Laura Winthrop Abbot, Council on Foreign Relations-Hitachi Japan International Affairs Fellows U.S. Embassy Tokyo

Both Laura and Spencer have contributed to U.S. efforts to support the Japanese government following the 3/11 triple disaster. Laura is serving as U.S. Ambassador John Roos' Public-Private Partnership Advisor, helping to coordinate a bilateral public-private partnership that promotes Japan's economic revitalization, with an emphasis on the Tohoku region, by fostering innovation and promoting educational opportunities for the next generation.

Spencer is a Navy FA-18 pilot, and next year will command an FA-18E Super Hornet squadron based in Atsugi, deploying aboard USS George Washington. He participated in Operation Tomodachi and served as the Deputy Director of the U.S. Embassy's Bilateral Assistance Coordination Cell (BACC), which coordinated with the Japanese government regarding the situation at Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Laura and Spencer will discuss their differing but linked experiences and perspectives on U.S.-Japan cooperation through the disaster response and reconstruction efforts.

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Lecture 3

Date:
Friday, November 11
Topic:
Smart City, Stupid Countryside: A Crisis in Stasis in Non-Metropolitan Japan
Lecturer:
John Mock, Visiting Professor, Asian Studies

This presentation starts with a brief look at the 50 year depopulation of most of Japan (everywhere except the metropolitan centers) with the process accelerating in the immediate past. Everyone has been aware that agriculture is non-sustainable with an aging farm population and subsidized rice, fisheries have massive problems of species depletion and sugi forestry is no longer viable. The events of 3/11 have exposed the fragility of non-metropolitan Japan and the consequences of the deterioration of non-metropolitan Japan both for the rural areas and for the metropolitan centers.

However, virtually all of the discussion about "reconstruction" following the 3/11 disaster has either been a) completely incompetent handling of the nuclear radiation problems or b) the idea of reconstructing what existed before even if it was no longer viable. There seems to be very little idea of "restructuring" or "constructing" non-metropolitan Japan in ways that are more economically and socially sustainable. Some thoughts on a sustainable future are suggested at the end of the talk.

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Lecture 4

Date:
Monday, November 14
Topic:
Is war possible in East Asia?
Lecturer:
Robert Dujarric, Director, Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies

International politics did not pause in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake. Tensions between China and several of its neighbors, and the United States, continued to be the hallmark of regional affairs in 2011, especially in the South China Sea. Following the Senkaku incident in 2010, this is contributing to concern about China in the region. We will look at the implications of these developments for Japan's national security strategy. In particular we will explore the question of the possibility of military conflict in the region involving China.

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Session 5

Date:
Wednesday, November 16
Topic:
Japan – "Since 1985"
Lecturer:
Bruce Stronach, Dean of Temple University, Japan Campus

This title is a play on the ubiquitous dating of shops and brands in Japan and is meant to convey the meaning that the brand image of Japan reached its peak in the apex of the bubble years and has not changed much since. The argument would be that the events of 3/11 have not changed the brand image so much as they have reinforced some of the key aspects of that image.

However, the events of 3/11 were yet another reminder to those outside Japan that it is safe as a society but is vulnerable to dangerous earthquakes. This raises a further question concerning the relationship between the brand image of Japan, the objective reality of life in Japan, and the role of foreigners play in Japan. The key questions are (1) how many and what type of foreigners are necessary for the functioning of the Japanese social economy, (2) how many and what type of foreigners can the society tolerate, and (3) will foreigners want to come to Japan if they are needed?

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