Events category: Annual Seminar Series Seminar

25 November 2016

Immigration policy and challenges: Post-Brexit UK and Japan

Immigration was one of the key campaign issues leading up to the UK’s “Brexit” referendum in June. Japan continues to control immigration tightly, but its rapidly ageing society is putting the government under pressure to allow for more importation of foreign labour. This seminar will discuss the immigration issues currently facing both nations and possible future directions for each.

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22 April 2016

Economic Implications of Disaster Reconstruction: 5 years after the Great East Japan Earthquake

The next five-year disaster recovery plan commencing in April 2016 will focus on “Reconstruction and Revitalisation”, spearheaded by local governments in Tohoku and Fukushima. Attention will now be on recovering a radiation-free environment and redeveloping a sustainable local economy, revitalising the disaster area for its future residents. But should more money be spent on regenerating an area that was already in decline before the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011? Or do former residents have the right to return to the place they once knew as home?

In this seminar, we will discuss the economic implications of disaster reconstruction, and how to find a balance between practicality and hope.

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3 March 2016

The transforming effects of social media: journalism, politics and business

The rapid development of digital media is overwhelming to some people, but for younger generations, digital information is an indispensable part of their lives. Japan still has one of the highest subscription rates in the world for printed newspapers, but the shift to online media is accelerating.

The first seminar on the theme of ‘Finding a Balance’ will discuss the new media and transforming effect of social media on journalism, politics and business.

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16 October 2015

Sexual Diversity in the UK and Japan

Japan has a long history of sexual diversity, but during modern times the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community has for the most part kept itself out of the limelight. Although there are some signs of change, Japanese society appears less tolerant of sexual diversity than the UK. This seminar discussed the experiences faced by LGBT individuals in both countries, and how LGBT rights may develop in the future.

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4 June 2015

Diversity in Education: Alternative Schools

A. S. Neill, a Scottish writer and education philosopher, created a community in which children could be free from adult authority, which in 1927 became Summerhill School in Suffolk, probably the world’s best-known “free school”. The school and Neill’s “free school” ideas became famous through his writings and lectures. In Japan, Professor Shinichi Hori was impressed by Summerhill and translated many of Neill’s books into Japanese, later establishing his own schools in Wakayama, based on Neill’s educational philosophy of liberty and democracy exercised by children.

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7 May 2015

Diversity and Innovation in Japan and the UK

‘Galapagos Syndrome’ has become a term to describe Japan’s insular attitude to the outside world. Like the species on the Galapagos Islands, Japanese corporations did not adapt their business models to the outside world, consequently losing their competitive edge to businesses in China and the rest of Asia. Similarly, in the sphere of policy-making, diverse and external opinions were not taken into account, and rather the vested interests of insiders were prioritised within a cosy, closed community. With increasing insularity and nationalism in the UK, does it risk going the same way?

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27 January 2015


The term “Womenomics,” coined by Kathy Matsui, Chief Japan Equity Strategist at Goldman Sachs, refers to policies aimed at enabling women to make a larger contribution to the Japanese economy. It has become a key component of “Abenomics” – Prime Minister Abe’s overall policies for the revitalisation of Japan. As dual-income couples have increasingly become the norm in Japan, the female labour participation rate is, in fact, more or less in line with other developed countries. The difference is that Japanese female workers disproportionately work in positions with low status, low pay, and low job security.

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