Temple University, Japan Campus presents “I-CAST,” a multi-media portal for conversations on contemporary Japanese social and political issues, with authorities who share their expertise in an informal, interactive format. Through an open dialogue, the series will mark the unprecedented changes Japan is experiencing as it positions itself in an increasingly globalized marketplace of ideas.

Episodes may be found on the TUJ Youtube channel, or on the ICAS Soundcloud here. Selected transcripts may be downloaded here.

Episode 1: Stéphane Dujarric on the Role of the U.N. Today

Stéphane Dujarric is Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. In the inaugural episode of the I-CAST podcast, Stéphane Dujarric and Kyle Cleveland discuss how the U.N. is able to project its values in consideration of diverse political interests in the midst of the global pandemic.


Stéphane Dujarric is the Spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres, and previously served as Spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan from 2005 to 2006 and then Deputy Communications Director for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon from 2006 to 2007. For the U.N. he served as Director of News and Media for the United Nations Department of Global Communications, and as Director of Communications for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Prior to joining the United Nations, Dujarric worked for ABC News television for close to ten years in various capacities in the network’s New York City, London and Paris news bureaus. He is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and an alumnus of the CPD Summer Institute in Public Diplomacy (class of 2009).

Episode 2: Robert Dujarric on Japanese Nationalism in a Comparative Context

ICAS Co-Director Robert Dujarric discusses Japanese conservatism in the context of the rise of nationalist politics around the world, touching on the history of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party and the ideology of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.


Robert Dujarric is the Co-Director of Temple University Japan’s Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies. Before coming to TUJ, he was a Council on Foreign Relations (Hitachi) International Affairs Fellow, after having spent a decade in Washington, D.C. as a researcher and before that as a banker in London and New York. For more info, please see here.

Episode 3: Japan’s Pandemic Politics with Jeff Kingston and Azby Brown

TUJ Director of Asian Studies Jeff Kingston and Azby Brown, lead researcher for the citizen-science group “Safecast,” discuss the politics of Japan’s early phase COVID-19 response and draw comparisons to the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis.


Jeff Kingston is a historian and Director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan Campus. The author of books on Japanese politics, press freedom, Asian nationalism and religion, he is a frequent media commentator, and is a senior editor of The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.

Azby Brown is the lead researcher for Safecast, a citizen-science organization devoted to developing new technology platforms for environmental monitoring, which has conducted internationally recognized research on the Fukushima nuclear crisis. A graduate of Yale University, he is a leading authority on Japanese architecture, design, and environmentalism, and was founder and director of the Future Design Institute at the Kanazawa Institute of Technology, where he conducted research on neuroscience, robotics and conflict resolution.

Additional Resources:

PM Abe’s Floundering Pandemic Leadership. May 2020.
Safecast Reports on COVID-19 Pandemic

Episode 4: The Times (of London) Reporter Richard Lloyd Parry

Richard Lloyd Parry, Asia Editor for The Times (of London), discusses his work as a daily reporter covering issues in twenty-seven countries, focusing in particular on his reporting in Japan that led to the books “People Who Eat Darkness” and “Ghosts of the Tsunami.”

Richard Lloyd Parry is the Asia editor of The Times (of London). He has reported from 29 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq and North Korea, and has been named Foreign Correspondent of the Year. His books include People Who Eat Darkness and Ghosts of the Tsunami, about the 2011 Tohoku disasters in Japan, which won the 2017 Rathbones Folio Prize.

Additional Resources:
The School Beneath the Wave. August 2017.
ICAS lecture on “People Who Eat Darkness” from October 2011.

Episode 5: Former FEMA Emergency Management Specialist Leo Bosner on the U.S. Pandemic Response, Fukushima and Institutional Barriers to Functional Crisis Management

As the Watch Officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the Katrina Hurricane in New Orleans, Leo Bosner worked on one of the most controversial natural disasters in American history. In this episode, he discusses his 29 year experience in different roles in FEMA, for which he worked the Oklahoma City domestic terrorist attack, hurricanes, floods and other disasters. Having come to Japan on a Mansfield Fellowship, Leo has consulted with Japanese prefectural and government ministries about lessons learned from the 2011 Tohoku disasters. Through the prism of his experience, he comments on the U.S. government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Leo Bosner worked for the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from 1979 until 2008, where he helped plan and manage the response to disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and terrorist incidents. During his time with FEMA, Leo studied Japanese under the Mike Mansfield Fellowship Program and then lived in Tokyo for a year to study Japan’s disaster management system.

Since retiring from FEMA, Leo has continued his disaster research and lecturing in Japan as well as in Taiwan and South Korea. Leo was in Tokyo on the day of the March 11 triple disaster, and he returned to Japan in 2012 under a fellowship from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science to study Japan’s response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Currently, Leo is the Disaster Risk Reduction Officer for Place To Grow, a Tokyo-based nongovernment organization that helps support disaster recovery in Japan.

Additional Resources:
FEMA and Disaster – A Look at What Worked and What Didn’t From a FEMA Insider
Can Japan Respond Better to its Next Large Disaster? May 2012.
U.S. disaster expert sees 3/11 weaknesses laid bare in Kyushu. May 2016.

Episode 6: Nathaniel Smith on the Performative Subcultures of Japanese Punk Rock and Right-Wing Nationalists

Nathaniel Smith is a cultural anthropologist whose ethnographic research has taken him into the underground of the Punk Rock music scene in Japan and onto the streets with Japanese Uyoku-Dantai (Right-Wing Nationalists). In this episode, Kyle Cleveland talks with Nate about what these politicized deviant subcultures reveal about the larger mainstream culture against which they position themselves.


Nathaniel Smith is a cultural anthropologist who researches political anthropology and nationalism, urban studies, and sound and visual anthropology. As an ethnographic researcher, he has worked the periphery of mainstream society, at the intersection of politics, deviant subcultures and radical social movements.

Episode 7: Journalist Martin Fackler on Reporting in Asia, and the changing landscape of media culture in an age of partisan politics

In over two decades reporting for media outlets in Asia, Martin Fackler covered stories in Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan and China, and as the Tokyo Bureau Chief for The New York Times, was short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for his investigative reporting on the Fukushima Nuclear Crisis. In this webinar, Martin will share insights he derived while working a vast array of stories and events in Japan and Asia, and discuss how reporting has evolved to address issues that have increasingly become politically laden and divisive. As a reporter who has published in Japanese about differences between the Japanese domestic and international press, he brings a unique perspective to how media cultures– always attentive to the political interests that threaten to undermine their legitimacy –have positioned themselves as purveyors of factual truth in the marketplace of ideas.


Martin Fackler has been a journalist in Asia for two decades, working most recently as Assistant Asia Editor at The New York Times managing the paper’s coverage of China. He was a correspondent at The New York Times for ten years, serving as Tokyo bureau chief from 2009 to 2015. In 2012, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for investigative stories into the Fukushima nuclear disaster that the prize committee said offered a “powerful exploration of serious mistakes concealed by authorities in Japan.”

He got his start in journalism covering finance and crime for Bloomberg News, and worked in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tokyo for The Wall Street Journal, The Far Eastern Economic Review and The Associated Press. From 2015-17, he was Journalist-in-Residence at the Asia Pacific Initiative, a Tokyo-based think tank. Fackler is the author or co-author of eight books in Japanese, including the bestseller Credibility Lost: The Crisis in Japanese Newspaper Journalism after Fukushima (2012). In English, he was lead editor of Reinventing Japan: New Directions in Global Leadership (2018). He grew up in Georgia, and holds degrees from Dartmouth College, the University of Illinois and the University of California, Berkeley.

Episode 8: Gerald Jaynes and Ben Karp on the 2020 Presidential Election, Pandemic Politics and Spike Lee’s Film “Da 5 Bloods”

The Black Lives Matter movement has highlighted systemic racism in the US, becoming a world-wide movement that is fundamentally altering the way that social inequities and minority rights are being addressed. In this episode, Yale Professor Gerald Jaynes and Ben Karp discuss the impact this historic movement is having on American politics, bringing long-standing issues of racial justice and civil rights to the forefront for public debate and institutional reform. They also discuss Spike Lee’s film “Da 5 Bloods” from Dr. Jaynes’ perspective as a Vietnam Army veteran.


Gerald Jaynes is professor in the department of Economics and also in the department of African American Studies at Yale University. He is the author of Branches Without Roots: Genesis of the Black Working Class in the American South, and the editor of A Common Destiny: Blacks and American Society. Professor Jaynes has served on numerous academic, public policy and editorial boards and has lectured at colleges and universities globally.

Olivier Benjamin Karp is an ICAS fellow and adjunct faculty member at Temple University Japan campus. Born in New York City and raised in Philadelphia, Ben Karp holds degrees in English, history and African American Studies from Goucher College and from Yale University. Professor Karp served as the finance chair of Senator Cory Booker’s first mayoral campaign in Newark, New Jersey. In Japan since 2002, he has published articles and been quoted in The Asahi Shimbun/International Herald Tribune, The Algemeiner, New York Times, Washington Post, The Jewish Forward, and The Daily Beast.

Additional Resources:
ICAS lecture on “Race and Realignment: How will the Democratic and Republican parties reformulate after 2016?” from December 2016.

Episode 9: Japanese Soft Power Politics with Nancy Snow

Propaganda scholar Nancy Snow discusses the politics of pandemic messaging and the diplomatic aspects of “Cool Japan” and soft-power brand nationalism.


Nancy Snow (https://nancysnow.com/) is a contributing writer to Nikkei Asian Review, a US professor emeritus of communications (Cal State Fullerton), and distinguished professor of public diplomacy at Kyoto Gaidai. She has been a visiting professor in China (Tsinghua), Israel (IDC-Herzliya), and Japan (Sophia/Keio). Dr. Snow has published thirteen books on media, politics, and diplomacy. Her current research interests are gender diplomacy and feminist reformulations of IR theory, including soft power, morals and foreign policy.

Episode 10: Plastics, Climate Change and the Future of the Environment in Japan (with Hanae Takahashi and Gina Anderson)

Japan has been criticized for not taking strong enough measures to act against climate change. The prevalence of single-use plastics is one example, as is the reliance on coal power. In this episode, Hanae Takahashi, Friends of Earth Japan, and Gina Anderson, Sustainability Expert, discuss Japan’s recently enacted plastic bag ban, use of coal power and policy of exporting coal technology. Bridging their experiences in the nonprofit and corporate sectors, this is an insightful conversation on Japanese sustainability initiatives in a global context.

Guest host:
Gina Anderson
has worked on environmental and sustainability issues for over 10 years, first focusing on European environmental and waste policy, then working with companies and international financing organizations on corporate social responsibility strategy and reporting, as well as environmental, social and governance issues. She currently works as an Environment and Sustainability Expert at LendLease Japan, where she focuses on green building issues. She has previously taught a “Sustainable Environments” course at Temple University, Japan Campus.

Hanae Takahashi
is a campaigner of climate change and energy at Friends of the Earth (FoE) Japan. She has been engaged in organizing anti-coal power movements in Yokosuka as well as following UNFCCC negotiations from a climate justice perspective since 2018.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) Japan is a member of Friends of the Earth (FoE) International, an NGO focused on international environmental justice. It has been active in Japan since 1980. Its activities cover climate change and energy, forests and biodiversity, development finance and the environment, support for Fukushima and nuclear phase-out, and more. The ultimate goal is to create a world in which all people may live peacefully and equitably.