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The Woman Who Took Whisky to Japan: Remembering Rita Cowan TaketsuruTony McNicol

The story of the award-winning, globally known Nikka Whisky brand all began in a small town near Glasgow, where a doctor’s daughter met an ambitious young Japanese chemist. Nippon.com traveled to Kirkintilloch to trace the footsteps of Rita Taketsuru.

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.

Japan Must Engage China, Freeze the Senkaku Debate

We talk with Niwa Uichirō, Japan’s first ambassador to China from the private sector, about China’s economy and the deterioration of Japan-China relations over the Senkaku Islands. Niwa, who returned to Japan in December 2012, calls for the leaders of both countries to meet soon and put a freeze on the Senkaku issue.

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.

Japan and the Geopolitics of the Shale RevolutionTaniguchi Tomohiko

The “shale revolution” offers the promise of energy independence for the United States and another energy option for Japan in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. But Taniguchi Tomohiko argues that it could also have perilous repercussions—political as well as economic—for which Japan must prepare itself by “thinking about the unthinkable.”

Prospects for Change on the Korean PeninsulaNishino Jun’ya

North Korea’s new supreme leader has delighted the global media with enthusiasm for theme parks and Disney characters, but his enthusiasm for genuine reform and détente are harder to gauge. Nishino Jun’ya of Keiō University assesses the prospects for real progress on the Korean Peninsula, focusing on the foreign policies outlined by South Korea’s three major presidential candidates.

Coming to Grips with China’s RisksKawashima Shin

After watching China skyrocket to superpower status, the world has grown acutely aware of the mounting problems threatening the nation’s growth and stability. Kawashima Shin, a China expert and member of the Nippon.com editorial committee, discusses what these looming risks mean for China’s next-door neighbor, Japan.

Striking the Right Balance in a Changing East AsiaKawashima Shin

I have had occasion lately to frequently visit the Kinmen islands—a small archipelago administered by the Republic of China (Taiwan), located quite close to Xiamen (Amoy), a city on the southeast coast of China. In 1949, the People’s Liberation Army of China launched an amphibious landing to capture the islands, but the attack was repelled by the ROC forces. This victory became symbolic for the RO…

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