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June 2019

Can North Korea ’Reform and Open Up’?

Monday, June 24
  • T.W. Kang (Managing Director, Global Synergy Associates)

The situation the international community is facing regarding North Korea increasingly looks like an overly constrained set of equations perhaps without solution. But even Kim Jong Un appears to think that a sustainable North Korea can be realized only through transition from a "military first" structure to emphasis on economic health. This transition involves denuclearization on one hand, and development of a competitive market economy on the other. Returning from a three week visit to South Korea, T.W. Kang aims…

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Reiwa One: A Political Outlook

Wednesday, June 26
  • Michael Cucek (Adjunct Professor, Department of Political Science,Temple University Japan campus and Adjunct Fellow at ICAS)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has presided over a long lived, durable administration -- in defiance of recent tradition and contrary to the expectations of many. He had a testy first year in office. His Cabinet suffered serious declines in popularity during the years the Diet was considering the Specially Designated Secrets Act and the collective security enabling legislation. Nevertheless Abe and his administration have prevailed, with ministers serving long terms. Furthermore, the once reputed impatient and reactionary hothead has transformed…

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July 2019

The Neutrals: Friends with Japan and her Enemies During WWII

Thursday, July 11
  • Pascal Lottaz (Swiss Historian and Adjunct Professor for European Politics at Temple University, Japan Campus)

Due to the unimaginable scale of violence of World War II, we often forget the war constituted not only of Allied and Axis Powers but also of countries that refrained from joining either side. This is especially true for the Pacific Theater, for which only little has been written about the neutrals. This talk will focus on some of the nations that remained neutral during the Empire's violent years from 1931 to 1945. It will cover Sweden and Switzerland but…

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The Politics of Painting: Fascism and Japanese Art During WWII

Tuesday, July 16
  • Asato Ikeda (Assistant Professor of Asian Art at Fordham University)

Ikeda will be presenting from her latest book The Politics of Painting: Fascism and Japanese Art during the Second World War (Honolulu: University of Hawaii, 2018). The book examines a set of paintings produced in Japan during the 1930s and early 1940s that have received little scholarly attention. Ikeda views works by prominent artists of the time through the lens of fascism, showing their seemingly straightforward paintings of Mount Fuji, samurai, beautiful women, and the country side supported the war by reinforcing…

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Transnationalization of Aspirations: International Mobility of Chinese & Japanese Students

Friday, July 19
  • Yasemin Soysal (Professor of Sociology, University of Essex)
  • Hector Cebolla Boado (Associate Professor, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED))
  • Dorothee Schneider (Senior Research Officer, University of Essex)

In the last two decades, the number of international students has sharply increased. Student from Asia constitute more than half of all globally mobile higher education students. Conventionally, international education is studied either in relation to classical push & pull drivers at the country (aggregate) level or as an investment in human and cultural capital accumulation, by governments and increasingly widening urban middle-class families. However, such perspectives are not sufficient to understand the mobility of higher education students in the…

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