Third Thursday Lecture | 17 April 2014 | 150th Third Thursday Lecture
Timely Reforms or Putting the Clock Back?
The Japan of Shinzō Abe and Its Global Implications
Professor Arthur Stockwin
Emeritus Fellow Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford
Every Third Thursday of the month, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures hosts a lecture on a topic related to the art and culture of Japan. Talks begin at 6pm (50-minute lecture followed by refreshments). Speakers are all specialists in their field and the talks are intended to be accessible to those with no prior knowledge of Japanese history. Admission is free and all are welcome. Booking essential. To book a seat email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 01603 625011 up to two days before the lecture stating your name, number of seats required and a contact number. Unless indicated otherwise the lectures are held at the Norwich Cathedral Hostry (Weston Room), Norwich NR1 4EH. The Third Thursday Lecture series is funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Charitable Trust.
About the Lecture
The election of a new government with Shinzō Abe as Prime Minister in December 2012 marks a new and controversial phase in the political development of Japan. The Abe Government’s policies may be summed up in its own terms as ‘restoring the economy and making Japan once more a normal State’. The first of these aims has gelled into ‘Abenomics’ – a radical and so far partially successful attempt to recreate economic growth after two decades of relative economic stagnation. The second involves removing constitutional obstacles to projection of military force, revering the war dead including convicted war criminals, denying wartime atrocities and criticising past government apologies for these, restricting guarantees of human rights, enabling government agencies to block freedom of information requests, and defending disputed territories with force if necessary. Faced with a declining population and a resurgent China, some toughening of national policies is understandable, but many Japanese commentators now feel that the Abe Government is embarked on a reckless and reactionary path. The lecture will explore these issues and examine the international implications.
About the Speaker
Professor Stockwin has a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford and a PhD in International Relations from the Australian National University, Canberra. Between 1964 and 1981 he taught in the Department of Political Science of the Australian National University. Between 1982 and his retirement in 2003, he was Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and Director of the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies at the University of Oxford. In 1994-5 he was President of the British Association of Japanese Studies. He is now an Emeritus Fellow of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. His publications include: The Japanese Socialist Party and Neutralism (1968), Japan and Australia in the Seventies (editor, 1973), Dynamic and Immobilist Politics in Japan (editor and part author, 1988), Dictionary of the Modern Politics of Japan (2003), Collected Writings of J.A.A. Stockwin: The Politics and Political Environment of Japan (2004), Governing Japan: Divided Politics in a Resurgent Economy (4th revised edition, 2008), Japanese Foreign Policy and Understanding Japanese Politics: The Writings of J.A.A. Stockwin (2012). He has translated two books in Japanese and two books in French, all on Japanese political history and political economy.
Please join us after the lecture to celebrate the 150th Third Thursday Lecture. Drinks and canapés will be served.