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Special Lecture -- "Japan’s Foreign Policy at Cross-roads: Towards a more amicable East Asia" -- Dr. Victor Teo, University of Hong Kong

2013-12-20 (Fri) 2:40 p.m. - 4:10 p.m.

Lecturer: Victor TEO -- Assistant Professor, University of Hong Kong
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Title: Japan’s Foreign Policy at Cross-roads: Towards a more amicable East Asia

Venue: Academic Conference Room, 3rd floor of E Building, Minoh Campus, Osaka U.
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Commentator: Toru OGA -- Associate Professor, Graduate School of Political Science, Kyushu University

Since 2010, tensions in East Asia have increased dramatically. In particular, Sino-Japanese relations have appeared to deteriorate considerably whilst the situation on the Korean Peninsula continues to pose considerable risks for the region. For Japan, these are critical times. Faced with the twin difficulties of aging population and economic recovery at home, Japan today possibly faces one of the most difficult situations in her external relations since the Second World War. Yet, a careful scrutiny would reveal that Japan’s greatest foreign policy challenge might not emanate from tensions with China or North Korea, but rather from her relations with her main alliance partner – the United States. This paper first touches on recent developments of Japan-US relations by focusing on two important themes. First, this paper discusses how developments in the region affect Japan-United States. It examines recent developments in Japan-US relations under various Prime Ministers. Second, this paper examines how Japan today is at a crossroads in its foreign relations with Asia and the World, considers possible scenarios with China, and considers what steps might be taken for a more amicable East Asia to emerge. Finally, the paper would conclude with a short discussion on the limitations of the conceptual lens used by International Relations scholars on the study of Japan and East Asian politics, and how they may well inhibit the envisioning of better relations in the region.

Victor Teo is Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. He obtained his Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). His research interests are in the field of International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, with particular emphasis on Sino-Japanese Relations. He also researches on aspects of China’s underground economy as well as on North Korean issues. He is currently working on a monograph that considers identity formation, threat perceptions and China's post War relations with Japan.

We will have a “supper study gathering” between 17:30 and 19:00 with Professors Victor Teo and Toru Oga after the lecture. Graduate students and younger (at heart) scholars present their “state of their research” for 3-5 minutes in English and both Professors Teo and Oga will respond/give comments. This is an informal meeting over supper. Reservations are necessary for this gathering. (For a reservation, send a note to Yoneyuki Sugita,

Regarding inquiries, please send a note to Yoneyuki SUGITA,

Date: 2013-12-20 (Fri) 2:40 p.m. - 4:10 p.m.
Venue: Academic Conference Room, 3rd floor of E Building, Minoh Campus, Osaka U.

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