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Symposium Reports

The world faces pressing problems that call for a united response. Venues for international debate and discussion are more important than ever. This section reports on symposiums held in Japan and other countries, drawing on the expertise and insights of specialists to shed light on the issues facing the world and efforts being made to address them.

Forum Highlights Novel Approaches to Meeting Society’s Challenges

Nippon Foundation Social Innovation Forum 2016 brought together stakeholders from diverse sectors for three days in September to consider new ways of addressing the key issues confronting Japan, such as depopulation, loss of community, and growing economic disparities.

Connecting with India

In May 2016, the Sasakawa Peace Foundation welcomed India’s C. Raja Mohan to Japan as part of its invitation program for Asian opinion leaders to encourage international exchange on a personal level.

Miyazaki Hayao: Preserving the Memory of Leprosy

On January 28, anime director Miyazaki Hayao spoke at a leprosy symposium about how he learned about the disease, how this influenced the making of the film Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke), and how he supports efforts to ensure that the hardships and prejudice leprosy sufferers faced are not forgotten.

The Age of Public Diplomacy: Soft Power Game in East Asia

The third session of the symposium focused on public diplomacy in East Asia, particularly the increasing tension that marks Japan’s relations with China and South Korea as well as each country’s public diplomacy efforts. The session was moderated by Kondō Motohiro, former editor-in-chief of Chūō Kōron.

The Age of Public Diplomacy: How It’s Done, and How It Could Be Done Better

The second discussion panel focused on the “instruments of public diplomacy.” The panelists spoke about their experiences of public diplomacy from a variety of perspectives. Professor Watanabe Yasushi of Keiō University was moderator.

The Age of Public Diplomacy: From Enmity to Amity

The first discussion session focused on “The Importance of Public Diplomacy.” The panelists looked at public diplomacy in Japan today through the lens of a comparison with diplomatic policy in postwar Germany. The moderator was Andrew Horvat, invited professor at Jōsai International University.

Public Diplomacy: Why It Matters and How It WorksKent Calder

Public diplomacy efforts are an increasingly vital part of Japan’s diplomatic outreach, particularly in the light of friction between it and its neighbors over territorial and historical issues. On November 5, 2013, we cohosted “The Popularity of Nations: How and Why Governments Seek Public Approval Abroad,” a symposium to explore public diplomacy questions. Kent Calder, director of the Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins University, gave the keynote address printed below.

The Age of Public DiplomacyWatanabe Yasushi

Public diplomacy has attracted increasing attention in recent years—not least in Japan, where the government has invested considerable effort in its “Cool Japan” campaign. As we look ahead to our November symposium on “The Popularity of Nations: How and Why Governments Seek Public Approval Abroad,” Watanabe Yasushi, who has been involved in the project since the beginning, considers the significance of the symposium.

Widening Opportunities for Japan’s Women

How can Japan continue to grow as its demographic crisis deepens? The answer may well be hiding in plain sight. Japan must work harder than ever to make the most of the skills and talents of all its people.

Leprosy: The Fight to End Legal DiscriminationPaul Melly

Leprosy victims still face legal barriers to travel, education, and employment. In some cases, discrimination makes it impossible for people to marry and raise a family. The Nippon Foundation and the International Bar Association recently launched an international campaign to get rid of these unfair laws. Paul Melly reports.

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