The Senkaku/Diaoyutai Incident One Year on: Islands Disputes and Maritime Strategy in Sino-Japanese Relations

Maritime issues in relation to disputed territorial boundaries are becoming a key theme in debates on regional security in East Asia. In the East China Sea, Sino-Japanese disputes over territorial ownership of the inhabited Senkaku/Diaoyutai Islands matters strategically, economically and politically, because there is the potential to affect access and control of the sea and its resources, and shape the regional power balance. This would directly affect their ability to safeguard national economic interests and exert military influence in the region and beyond. However, the possession of these islands speaks to questions of national pride, historical sensitivity, and international status. This timely seminar explores how maritime territorial disputes are shaping Sino-Japanese relations, and the extent to which these issues are redefining the strategic relationship between the two countries and the United States. One year after the September 2010 collision between a Chinese fishing trawler and the Japan Coast Guard, Professor Buzan will bring perspectives of political and historical generalisation to Dr Patalano’s examination of the evolution of Sino-Japanese relations and assessment of the lasting impact of the incident on regional security.

The seminar will be chaired by Professor Chris Hughes.

About the contributors

Dr Alessio Patalano

Dr Alessio Patalano is Lecturer in War Studies at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, and specialises in East Asian security and Japanese naval history and strategy. He is also Research Associate at the King’s China Institute. Since 2006, he has been Visiting Lecturer in Naval Strategy and East Asian Security at the Italian Naval War College (ISMM), Venice. In Japan, Dr Patalano has been a Visiting Scholar at Aoyama Gakuin University and at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), both in Tokyo, and currently is Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University Japan. Dr Patalano’s publications appeared in academic journals in English, Japanese and Italian language. His first book, Maritime Strategy and National Security in Japan and Britain from the First Alliance to Post- 9/11 (Brill/Global Oriental) is forthcoming in 2011, and he is currently completing a second book titled Reclaiming the Trident: Imperial Legacy and Japan’s Post-war Naval Power.

Professor Barry Buzan

Professor Barry Buzan is Montague Burton Professor in the Department of International relations at the London School of Economics, and honorary professor at Copenhagen and Jilin universities. From 1988 to 2002 Professor Buzan was Project Director at the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute (COPRI). From 1995 to 2002 he was research professor of International Studies at the University of Westminster, and before that Professor of International Studies at the University of Warwick. During 1993 he was visiting professor at the International University of Japan, and in 1997-1998 he was Olof Palme Visiting Professor in Sweden. He has published and broadcast extensively in the field of international relations. His publications include: ‘China in International Society: Is ‘peaceful rise’ Possible?’ (The Chinese Journal of International Politics, 3 (1), pp. 5-36, 2010), and Acharya, Amitav and Buzan, Barry (eds.) Non-Western international relations theory: perspectives on and beyond Asia (Routledge, 2010).

Professor Chris Hughes

Professor Chris Hughes (Chair) is Professor of International Politics and Japanese Studies at Warwick University. Previously, he was Research Associate at the Institute for Peace Science, Hiroshima University (IPSHU). From 2000-2001 he was Visiting Associate Professor, and in 2006 he held the Asahi Shimbun Visiting Chair of Mass Media and Politics, both at the Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo. He is an honorary Research Associate at IPSHU, and has been a Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), and Visiting Scholar at the East Asia Institute, the Free University of Berlin. From 2009-2010 he was the Edwin O. Reischauer Visiting Professor of Japanese Studies at the Department of Government, Harvard University. He is currently an Associate in Research at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, and President of the British Association of Japanese Studies. His research interests include Japanese foreign and security policy; Japanese international political economy; and regionalism in East Asia.

Bye Bye Kitty!!! – Beyond kitsch, kawaii and otaku in Japanese Contemporary Art: An illustrated talk by David Elliott

Kitsch, otaku (“geek”) and kawaii (cuteness, sometimes super-girly hyper-cuteness) – are all stereotypes frequently attributed to contemporary Japanese culture. It is true to say that Japanese society often embraces such images of itself, and some Japanese artists, such as Takashi Murakami and Kaikai Kiki, respond to, or exploit, these trends, making them even more widespread. Yet is this the whole story? Does this kind of work actually represent the most significant and powerful art being made in Japan today?

David Elliott, founding director of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, who spent five years in Japan, thinks not. He sees an intensely reflective, self-critical, controversial, even political, spirit within contemporary Japanese art that is less easy to appreciate than the stereotypes but more rewarding to grasp. It was this which led him to curate the successful exhibition Bye, Bye Kitty!!! – Between Heaven and Hell in Contemporary Japanese Art held at the Japan Society in New York earlier this year. This fascinating exhibition concentrated on diverse work by talented young and middle generation Japanese artists, many of whom have not yet been well enough represented on the international art scene.

In this talk, David Elliott will offer an overview of this exhibition and the artists he chose for it, mapping them in the social context of modern and contemporary Japan. Complementing his talk will be a discussion with sociologist and Japanese contemporary art specialist Adrian Favell. Together they will further explore how significant the exhibition is today, reflecting on Japanese aesthetics, social realities and global reactions.

This event is organised in collaboration with TrAIN Research Centre.

17 October 2011 from 6.20pm

The Banqueting Hall (Chelsea College of Art and Design)
16 John Islip Street
London SW1P 4JU

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

 

Women Work in Wood (WoWoWo)

Women Work – in Wood is a touring celebration and showcase of leading female contemporary furniture designers and makers, working in wood, and will include work from London-based Tomoko Azumi, and Denmark-based Akiko Kuwahata, as well as various other international, established and emerging designer makers, who  have all responded to a design brief to develop and encourage innovative design in furniture using sustainable processes and materials.

The design development has in each case been documented to illuminate the decisions regarding techniques and process.  These narratives, as well as the more personal deliberations to do with career paths, will form part of the exhibition showing the richness of skill and approach and add to the debate about design, responsibility, opportunity, expectation and so forth.

The number of women furniture makers is on a steady increase in Europe and particularly the UK. This exhibition is the first dedicated showcase of contemporary work by woman designer makers.

24 September 2011 – 30 October 2011

Walford Mill Crafts, Dorset

For more information, please click here.

Art Weapons: Artist Talk by Tsuyoshi Ozawa

Tsuyoshi Ozawa is an intriguing Japan-grown contemporary artist. His works challenge the establishment and people’s existing systems, as well as perceptions about their daily lives. Yet Ozawa also approaches these issues with both gentle humour and clever irony, quite often throwing his viewers, with great relish, into a maze of the actual and the virtual: for example in works such as his Museum of Soy Sauce Art, a parodic look at Japanese art history, or his long running Vegetable Weapons project. Despite a conventional education at art university in Japan, where he studied painting, Ozawa, from the start of his artistic career, has always resisted creating his work in an isolated environment. He frequently collaborates with other artists, and often draws on audience participation, using his work as a kind of “art weapon” for opening dialogue.

In this artist talk, Tsuyoshi Ozawa will reveal to the UK audience for the first time the unique artistic path he has walked over the past decades, explaining the creative process behind many of his compelling works. In a discussion to follow, he will be joined by Adrian Favell, Professor of Sociology in Paris and a writer on Japanese contemporary art, to further examine Ozawa’s relation to contemporary Japanese society, his significance in a global context, and issues of “relational art” in his work, part of an important trend in contemporary art practice.

20 September 2011 from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation, London
Russell Square House, 10-12 Russell Square
London WC1B 5EH

This event is free to attend but booking is essential. To reserve a place, please email your name and the title of the event you would like to attend to event@jpf.org.uk.

Then and Now: Japanese Investment in the UK

Sierk A. Horn
Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies, University of Leeds

Monday, 19th September 2011 6.45pm

School of Oriental and African Studies
University of London
Khalili Lecture Theatre
Thornhaugh Street
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

Japanese firms have a reputation as influential foreign investors. With this back-drop in mind, Sierk Horn’s lecture examines how Japanese firms are currently developing their presence in the UK. His research finds that Japanese investment behaviour is evolving. While benefiting from a strong presence within Europe, Japanese firms are in the process of reconfiguring their UK presence. Recent surveys show Europe losing ground as a promising region for medium-term overseas business operations. Japanese manufacturers have downgraded the attractiveness of the UK as a business destination. In the last decade the number of Japanese firms in the UK has declined considerably, indicating an appreciable slow-down in interest from Japan.

In light of the continued importance of Japan as an inward investment source country despite investment ‘newcomers,’ most notably from India or China, the long-term commitment of Japanese investors and their contribution to the regional regeneration of the UK represents a useful context in which to examine the current strategies and localisation behaviour of Japanese companies. A comparative and longitudinal analysis of the spatial distribution of Japanese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the UK over the past two decades help explore agglomeration economies, investment and exit scenarios and the changing role of regional industrial policies.

Dr Sierk A. Horn is Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies at the University of Leeds. He was awarded a PhD in Japanese Studies and Habilitation from Freie Universitaet Berlin. He has published widely in the fields of consumer behaviour in East Asia, international knowledge transfer and strategic management of Japanese and European multinational enterprises (MNEs).

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 7828 6330 or email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form