Watanabe Hirotaka
  • Watanabe Hirotaka 
  • By this author: 4 Latest posted: 2015.07.13
Born in Fukuoka Prefecture in 1954. Director of the Institute for International Relations at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies and member of the Nippon.com French-language editorial team. Holds an undergraduate degree from the Department of French Studies at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, a master’s degree from that university’s Graduate School of Area and Culture Studies, a doctorate from the Faculty of Law at Keio University, and a degree in advanced studies from Pantheon-Sorbonne University. A professor at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies since 1999, he also worked as the public relations and cultural attaché at the Japanese embassy in France from 2008 to 2010 and has served as the editor-in-chief of the journals Cahiers du Japon and Gaikō (Foreign Relations). His numerous published works include Mitteran jidai no Furansu (France in the Mitterrand Years, 1990), which won the Franco-Japanese House’s Shibusawa Claudel Prize; Furansu gendaishi (Contemporary French History, 1998); Furansu no bunka gaikō senryaku ni manabu (Learning from France’s Strategic Cultural Diplomacy, 2013); and Gendai Furansu—eikō no jidai no shūen, Ôshū e no katsuro (Contemporary France—End of the Era of Glory and Accommodation with Europe, 2015).
When Japonism Bewitched Europe2015.07.13

Today art from Japan has worldwide cultural impact and is a familiar part of the global artistic scene. Up through the early modern era, though, Japanese art was a bolt from the blue—something entirely new to viewers overseas, who saw it as something fresh and surprisingly sophisticated. This was the dawn of Japonism.

Sharing Japan with the World2012.04.13

Japan’s pop culture has opened the door to worldwide appreciation of all of its rich culture. As culture becomes a driving force in both the country’s international image and its economy, the concept of cultural diplomacy and the creation of a system for its expression are more vital than ever.

Making the Most of Cultural Diplomacy2012.03.12

In December 2011 I was invited to be a panelist at a Paris symposium on cultural diplomacy hosted by the Institut français, a new organization that is expected to play a central role in France’s cultural diplomacy. The Institut français came into being early in 2011 following the merger of CultureFrance, an organ of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, with the external relations and cultura…

The Future of Japanese Diplomacy Lies in Seeking to Be a Global Player2011.10.28

Noda Yoshihiko took office as Japan’s new prime minister on September 2. Later that month he made his diplomatic debut with a trip to New York, where he addressed the United Nations General Assembly and met with US President Barack Obama. From the start, Noda has made it clear that he places a high priority on the Japan-US alliance as an “international public good” and will look for ways to use th…

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