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Osaka University International Symposium Program, February 2015 Theme: Legacies of World War II Part 4

2015-2-13 (Fri) - 2015-2-14 (Sat)

We would like to invite those specially appointed professors and associate professors at Osaka University to attend the following International Symposium.

Osaka University International Symposium Program, February 2015 

Theme: Legacies of World War II Part 4
Date: 13 – 14 February 2015

Venue: Academic Exchange Room (3rd floor, Building E), Minoh Campus, Osaka University (Osaka Japan)
 (Access map)
 (Campus map) #3(3rd Floor)

We assume that all the participants will have read the conference papers before the symposium. Your presentation should be as brief as possible and leave a plenty of time for discussion. (15 minutes for presentation, 45 minutes for discussion)

DAY 1: 13 February (Friday) Symposium Day1

For those who stay at Kasugaoka House, please come to the lobby at 10:00.
Taxi will leave at 10:05.

For others, please come to the Academic Exchange Room (3rd floor of Building E) by 10:50.

11:00-11:50: Photo taking

11:50-12:00: Opening Remarks


12:00-14:05 (Sessions 1&2) :

•Presenter: Professor Laura Hein
Post-Fascist Political Culture: Japan after World War II
 Chair: Professor 
 Discussants: Professor 

•Presenter: Professor Marie Söderberg
Japanese ODA and the Role of its Changing Charters
 Chair: Professor Midford
 Discussants: Professor Midford

14:20-16:25 (Session 3) :

•Presenter: Professor Nissim Otmazgin
Legacies of World War II in Manga: Two Narratives of War
 Chair: Professor Hein
 Discussants: Professor Hein

•Presenter: Yoneyuki Sugita
: Struggle for Agenda Setting: U.S.-Japan Alliance Management and the Second North Korea Nuclear Crisis
 Chair: Professor 
Marie Söderberg
 Discussants: Professor 
Marie Söderberg



16:40 – 17:40 (Session 4: Graduate Students and Jr. Scholars)

•Presenter: Ms. Simona Lukminaite and Mr. Keiji Fujimura
 Chair: Professor Midford

17:50 – 19:00 Supper: Minoh Campus, Osaka University

DAY2: 14 February 2015 (Saturday) Symposium Day2

11:30-12:30 (Special Lecture) :

•Presenter: Professor Wajeha Al-Ani
What Japan can learn from the Oman Education System?
 Chair: Ms. 
 Discussants: Ms. Lukminaite 

Lunch meeting: 12:30-13:15

13:20 – 15:25 (Sessions 5 & 6)

•Presenter: Professor Paul Midford
Does a Democratic Peace Exist between Japan and South Korea? New Evidence
 Chair: Professor Takeuchi
 Discussants: Professor Takeuchi

•Presenter: Professor Syed Ashrafur Rahman
Japan’s Check Mating Role in South Asia
 Chair: Professor Takeuchi
 Discussants: Professor Takeuchi



15:40-16:40 (Session 7: Graduate Students and Jr. scholars)

•Presenters: Ms. Akiko Sato and Ms. Ng Yoke Yan
 Chair: Professor 








•Professor Laura Hein (Northwestern University & Osaka University)

Title: Post-Fascist Political Culture: Japan after World War II


•Professor Marie Söderberg (European Institute of Japanese Studies & Osaka University)

Title: Japanese ODA and the Role of its Changing Charters


Lacking the capability to sends troops in fighting positions abroad, due to constitutional restrains, ODA (Official Development Assistance) has since the end of the 1970s been one way for Japan to contribute to international society and peace and stability on a global basis. ODA has proven a useful tool in diplomacy and for security as well as economic policy. It has not existed in a vacuum but has been adjusted according to both external and internal changes in Japan. The present Abe government has announced that it will change the ODA charter again this year. This change will be affected by how the government perceive the global environment as well as the domestic situation. In this paper we will research Japan’s ODA charter from the first one adopted in 1992, through the second adopted in 2003 as well as possible changes that will be undertaken in the third revision due later this year. How the ODA charter changed and why will be researched. Finally we will try to conclude by looking at implication of these changes at the implementation level and try to answer the question “Did the changes at the policy level substantially change what is happening on the ground?”

•Professor Nissim Otmazgin (Hebrew University of Jerusalem & Osaka University)

Title:  Legacies of World War II in Manga: Two Narratives of War


This paper examines the way in which the past is being evoked—not in the conventional form of textbooks, museums, monuments, and state rituals, but rather as a past which is insinuated by the experience of manga. The investigation focuses on the way war memory in Japan is being created, disseminated, and reproduced through manga, and demonstrates how manga's special grammar, aesthetics, text, and inner-logic builds new historical narratives. As part of this investigation, the paper analyzes two manga seriess—Adolf ni tsugu (Reconstructing Adolf) and Sensōron (Theory of War)——which represent different narratives of war memory.

•Professor Wajeha Al-Ani(Sultan Qaboos University)

Title: What Japan can learn from the Oman Education System?


The aim of this paper is to highlight the extensive efforts made by the Ministry of Education (MoE) in the Sultanate of Oman in developing, expanding and ensuring universal access to education for all Omani citizens and to provide them with lifelong skills. These aims are considered the main features of the educational reforms in moving the Omani community towards a new modern, technological, and information society.

As the Sultanate of Oman is an Arab country, it shares not only its boundaries with the Gulf region, but also its history, culture and tradition. The Sultanate of Oman has an open and oil-based economy. The development of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), public investment in the infrastructure and growing diversification of the economy has therefore helped in moderating dependence on oil. This kind of economic structure demands diversified skills and competencies that satisfy the needs of the emerging economy.

Education reforms have therefore become a priority in developing the educational system in the Sultanate of Oman. The educational sector in the Sultanate of Oman had its most significant transitional point starting in July 1970, when the MoE was first established. The year 1970 witnessed the start of the Omani renaissance and the beginning of the education development. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos understood the relationship between education and development, so he has made it very clear in his first speech that he would give education urgent and special attention.

Following 1970, the educational history of the Sultanate of Oman underwent rapid development. Also, action plans were begun in the academic year 1976/77 which started the beginning of quality planning and development. This was also the beginning of the Five- Year Development Plans. After the establishment of a framework for the different  education levels, more concern was paid to vocational education. This was in addition to focusing on the quality of school buildings and other attached services and equipment such as laboratories, libraries, workshops and other provisions needed for raising the standard of the educational services. Taking a rapid glance at educational development in the Sultanate of Oman, it clearly shows that there has been significant quantitative and qualitative development. In terms of quantitative issues, the number of schools increased from 3 before 1970 to 1042 schools in 2013. Along with the rapid increase in the number of schools, the number of students and teachers also increased. In terms of the qualitative issue, the schools developed from religious focused schools (recitation of the Holy Qurân in a circle) to a much wider modern structured curriculum using advanced technology in teaching. Also, in 1997, the MoE began the development of the Basic Education Program (BEP) which consists of two cycles ( first cycle covers grades 1 to 4 and the second cycle covers grades 5 to 10) to gradually replace the three level General Education system. The aim of the reform is to create a unified system covering the first ten years of schooling. These two cycles are followed by two years of post-basic education system (secondary education). The first schools of BEP started to introduce the new system in the academic year 1998/1999.

Looking at the educational reforms -since 1970- one can recognize four stages in the development of education in Oman. Stage one emphasized the rapid quantitative development of education. Stage two started in the 1980s, when the MoE initiated serious efforts to improve the quality of education; and stage three started  in 1995, after the declaration of ‘Vision of Oman's economy 2020’. A Strategic plan was initiated in 2001 to ensure that students will be adequately prepared for the requirements of higher education and the labor market through a restructuring of secondary education. Today a significant issue facing the Omani education system is to identify future development. This is mentioned in the National Strategic Plan 2020-2040 as an emerging issue. Although this declared the significant development, but there are other factors that are needed to be considered to continue the development in the current time such as the internal and external challenges facing education system. Those challenges are globalization, information technology, sustainable economic transformation, expansion of global Knowledge, and the development of the human skills which are becoming essential prerequisites for progress in Omani civil society.

•Professor Paul Midford (Norwegian University of Science and Technology & Osaka University)

Title: Does a Democratic Peace Exist between Japan and South Korea? New Evidence


The logic of the democratic peace indicates that as two established democracies, Japan and South Korea should not have militarized conflicts between them, while mutual recognition of their democratic systems should have a corresponding mutual reassurance effect.  On the other hand, the historical memory hypothesis indicates that historical memories of Japan’s colonialization of Korea provide a basis for Koreans to mistrust Japan’s disposition, if not its intentions, regardless of the current political system in Japan.  This paper considers whether the 2006 Japanese-Korean confrontation over maritime exploration near the disputed Dokdo/Takeshima was a militarized dispute and a near miss at armed conflict.  It considers this question in light of new evidence from Japanese politicians and especially from US State Department cables made public by Wikileaks, regarding this confrontation.

•Professor Syed Ashrafur Rahman (Shahjalal University of Science and Technology)

Title: Japan’s Check Mating Role in South Asia


With the emergence of three Asian countries-China, India and Japan-in the landscape of global politics, Asia is becoming an area of balance of power politics. China may emerge as the most powerful of three, but it is unlikely to be capable of dominating its continent. A rising China has security threat for both India and Japan. China’s ability to project naval power in the region and its improved ballistic missile capabilities, India and Japan have reason to be concerned. Japan and India are two of the largest democracies in Asia, sharing a commitment to the rule of law and respect for human rights. They are also leading economies in Asia. Despite the lack of historical baggage and enormous popular empathy towards each other, India-Japan bilateral relations failed to deepen due to Cold War. After Cold War Japan was crafting a new strategic policy and found India as a new partner, the foundation of which was laid down by Tokyo’s strategic planners. By strengthening relations with South Asian countries through military contracts, maritime cooperation and trade and investment, Japan check-mating China in South Asia. This paper has  five sections: i)Introduction;ii).Japan and  India’s relation with China;iii).Japan’s interest in South Asia; vi)Japan’s Check-mating role in South Asia; v).Conclusion.


*Dr. Syed Ashrafur Rahman, Associate Professor, Department of Political Studies, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh. Now he is doing postdoctoral research with Dr. Mary Alice Haddad, Department of Government, Wesleyan University, CT., USA.


Professor Toshitaka Takeuchi (Osaka University)


Ms. Ng Yoke Yan (Osaka University)


Ms. Simona Lukminaite (Osaka University)


Ms. Akiko Sato (Osaka University)


Mr. Keiji Fujimura (Osaka University)


Yoneyuki Sugita (Osaka University)

Title: Struggle for Agenda Setting: U.S.-Japan Alliance Management and the Second North Korea Nuclear Crisis


This paper’s research question focuses on the relationship between the second North Korean nuclear crisis and the U.S.-Japan alliance. My hypothesis is that this crisis resulted from a struggle between the United States and Japan to set the agenda for how to engage North Korea. Both countries used the crisis to alter the management of their alliance. The main U.S. agenda was to remain free to shape political and military developments involving North Korea, which necessitated tight management of the alliance with Japan. Washington tried to compel Tokyo not to undertake any independent initiatives toward North Korea that might adversely affect U.S. policy in the region. Japan's agenda, on the other hand, stemmed from a post-Cold War recognition that the U.S.-Japan alliance carried with it disadvantages for Japan that sometimes outweighed the benefits. Ultimately, Washington tacitly acquiesced to North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons to insure its agenda for North Korea.

Date: 2015-2-13 (Fri) - 2015-2-14 (Sat)
Organizer: Sugita Yoneyuki Research Laboratory, Graduate School of Language and Culture
Venue: Academic Exchange Room, 3rd floor, Building E, Minoh Campus, Osaka University
Registration: No registration is necessary for this event.
Contact: SUGITA Yoneyuki

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