70th Anniversary Symposium – “Key Challenges Facing Japan in the International Arena”

This event has finished. Video Archive of the keynote speech, sessions 1-3 are available here



The International House of Japan (I-House) is commemorating its 70th anniversary in 2022. As a postwar pioneer in the field of cultural and intellectual exchange, I-House has made substantial contributions to the promotion of international understanding and peace.

In the 1980s through early 2000s, I-House supported several study groups* initiated and led by young non-Japanese scholars, most of whom were Ph.D. candidates at Japanese universities, thereby helping nurture future intellectual leaders and promote Japan studies. Many former members are active today in various fields, including academia, policymaking, and diplomacy.

To commemorate its 70th anniversary, I-House is inviting some of these members for a symposium to engage in a candid discussion on key challenges facing Japan in the international arena and the roles Japan can/should play in peacebuilding and people’s well-being.

  • Date:Tuesday, November 8, 2022, 1:00-6:00 pm (JST)
  • Venue: Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, International House of Japan
  • Language: Japanese / English (simultaneous interpretation)
  • Capacity: 100 *Registration required, Free admission, Open for I-House Members and Non-members First-come-first-served basis
    Welcome Remarks: Ken Jimbo, I-House Managing Director; Professor, Keio University
    Opening Remarks: Yoshihide Soeya, I-House Trustee; Professor Emeritus, Keio University
    Keynote Address: Glen S. Fukushima, Vice Chair of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation; Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Founding Chair, Ph.D. Kenkyukai

Session I: Japan’s International Outlook: Digital Transformation, Energy, and Demographics

    The first panel explores broad challenges and questions facing Japan and the world. Opening comments will include reflections on the panelists’ experiences and touch on the impact of I-House on their work. The panel will also address questions related to Japan’s development, sustainability, and demographics and how they relate to its global outlook and future. With broad experience in Asia with governments and on social and business issues, the panelists will reflect on how Japan’s international relations, energy choices, and population trends affected their work in China, Southeast and Northeast Asia, and the United States.

Chair:Stephen Anderson, Former Commercial Attaché, US Embassy in Tokyo
– David Arase, Resident Professor of International Politics,Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
– Phyllis Yoshida, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Energy Center, Atlantic Council
– Nam Kijeong, Professor at the Institute for Japanese Studies, Seoul National University

Session II: A New Phase in Relations with Neighbors—China and Korea

    Focusing on Japan’s relations with its Asian neighbors, this panel will examine Japanese foreign policy in the regional context. Panelists will discuss prospects for Japan-China and Japan-Korea relations in a changing world, as well as Japan’s diplomacy in East Asia from a European perspective. Each panelist will also draw on their personal experience of interacting with I-House over the past decades, enabling us to learn from the past and work together for the future in the face of changing regional dynamics.

Chair: John Quansheng Zhao, Professor, American University; Co-founding Chair, Chinese Social Science Forum (CSSF)
– Li Tianjiang, Professor, Chuo University, Japan; Co-Founding Chair, CSSF
– Lee Won Deog, Professor, Kookmin University, South Korea; Co-Founding Chair, Japan Study Forum of Korean Students (online)
– Julie Gilson, Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham (online)

Session III: Redefining the Role of Culture in Global Peacebuilding and Well-being
This panel examines the role of culture in global peacebuilding and promoting scholarly exchange to promote well-being—issues I-House has dealt with at length. The panelists with deep ties to I-House—either as members of the PhD Kenkyukai, Chinese Social Science Forum, or as habitués during research trips to Japan—address issues relating to culture, Japan, and the 21st century. Their comments will be followed by a conversation among the panelists on contemporary Japan in a globalized world.

Chair: Christine Yano, Professor, University of Hawaii
– Merry White, Professor, Boston University (online)
– Carolyn Stevens, Professor, Monash University
– Du Xin, Journalist / Lecturer, Keio University
Closing Remarks:Ryosei Kokubun, Former Member, I-House Board of Directors; Ex-President of the National Defense Academy
update on November 2:In addition to Julie Gilson, who was originally scheduled to speak online, Lee Won Deog and Merry White are now online speakers.