Seminar: 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.
Book launch: 20 January 2015
‘Labour market deregulation in Japan and Italy: Worker protection under neoliberal globalisation’ examines how labour market deregulation was implemented in Japan in comparison to Italy, which shared a number of similar labour market characteristics with Japan.
Seminar: 16 December 2014
This seminar took place just two days after the Japanese Lower House election, while the clock is also ticking towards a General Election in the UK next year. It seemed a timely moment to consider the power that politicians wield in the two countries, and the extent to which they can actually affect the lives of their citizens. How easy is it for politicians to push their policies through the legislature? And when they succeed, how much impact do those policies have?
Exhibition: 23 Oct 2014 – 16 Dec 2014
Shizuka Yokomizo explored the phenomenon of the photographic image by looking at its different visual and non-visual spaces in its various stages of making. In her new work that was shown here, she takes instead the residual material of a previous project, engaging with it as a material in limbo, disconnected but not disavowed from its original conditions. The images derive from the out-takes of one of several shoots in 2008/9 when Yokomizo was involved in meeting various women in hotel rooms and photographing them in their trade as sex workers.
Seminar: 9 December 2014
North Korea is arguably the world’s most troublesome country. It is expanding both its plutonium and enriched uranium paths to a nuclear weapon and it is also presumed to have the world’s only active chemical weapons programme. Meanwhile, its deplorable human rights situation is without parallel.
Pyongyang hasn’t taken any steps that would enable resumption of the long-stalled Six Party Talks. What is hindering the process and what is the underlying historical context of the Talks?
Book launch: 4 December 2014
Tree burial (樹木葬, jumokusou), a new form of disposing the remains of the dead in Japan, was initiated in 1999 by a Zen Buddhist temple in the northeast region of Tohoku. Unlike conventional cemeteries filled with ancestral gravestones, its graveyards are vast woodlands where newly planted trees and small wooden tablets inscribed with the names of the deceased mark the burial sites. Although varying in style and scale, over fifty cemeteries are now popularizing tree burial as an alternative mode of dealing with death in Japan.
Talk: 3 December 2014
The practice of Takahiro Ueda is interdisciplinary, recalling a scientific researcher observing natural phenomena: atoms, chemical elements, sound vibrations, weather and environmental changes. His work is realised in collaboration with teams of experts including quartz miners, scientists and engineers.
Special event: 20 November 2014
Director Kyoko Miyake, having lived outside of Japan for more than a decade, feels compelled to revisit Fukushima. She wants to find out the fate of her family’s home-town Namie, which with its golden beaches and friendly neighbours used to be her childhood idyll. Following her aunt Kuniko, Miyake begins to question her nostalgic childhood memories and in so doing understand the harsh economic realities and sacrifices that her Aunt and the people of Namie had to make in order to survive.