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The Japan Zoominar @ UC San Diego brings together new insights, knowledge and opinions on current events in Japan. Experts from around the globe are invited as speakers and contributors, with the goal to create a vibrant exchange and deepen our understanding of Japan’s role in the world.

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Japan, China, Korea – Shifting Strategic Relations in Turbulent Times
Oct. 6, 2020 | Register
The muscle-flexing of China, the rising ambivalence of the U.S. toward its Asian alliances, and ongoing concerns on the Korean Peninsula – where does all this leave Japan in the Asian geopolitical situation? How should one view the evolution of Asia's security architecture and new strategic narratives that incorporate the broader Indo-Pacific region? Join Andrew Yeo, author of “Asia’s Regional Architecture”, for an in-depth discussion.

Reluctant Warriors: The Role of Japan and Germany in the international military order
Oct. 13, 2020 | Register
As the international liberal order is breaking down, calls are getting louder for Japan and Germany to revise their roles and military responsibilities. Thanks to their size and economic importance, these two countries are the most important allies for the U.S. in Asia and Europe, respectively. The U.S. is increasingly frustrated with what it sees as a reluctance to share more of the defense burden, even as both countries still operate under those Constitutions and have strong sub-cultures of "anti-militarism. Join Ellis Krauss, co-author of "Reluctant Warriors: Germany, Japan, and Their U.S. Alliance Dilemma," and Ulrike Schaede for a discussion of what is at stake for the future of global security.

Women in Japan: Similar Challenges, Different Solutions
Oct. 20, 2020 | Register
A lot has been made of Womenomics, Abe’s program to improve the work situation for women in Japan. And although many challenges remain, statistically it has worked and Japan is now average in several measures of women workforce participation and advancement. But how does Japan’s workplace reality compare, including also with Europe? Clearly, Japan’s business environment continues to be different from the West, with tighter social norms, more rigid hierarchies, and entrenched habits. Although Japanese women face similar workplace challenges as women everywhere, they have to find different ways to change their work settings and remove obstacles of social expectations and subconscious bias. Join Karen Shire, Director of the Center for Gender Research at UDE in Germany, and Saki Tomita, Manager at TEPCO Ventures in Tokyo, to discuss what is changing, how Japan compares, and what working women in Japan do to “lean in” and change their work environments.

Shinzo Abe – The Iconoclast
Oct. 27, 2020 | Register
Now that the Abe administration is completed, it is time to assess the global impact of this outstanding Japanese statesman. Meet Tobias Harris, author of the current best-selling biography on Shinzo Abe, to discuss the larger meaning of the Abe Years. What kind of person is Shinzo Abe, how did he come to power, and what explains his remarkable “second take”, after the unsuccessful first Abe administration? How could he so deftly manage the LDP power structures, as well as the bureaucracies? What is the impact of his foreign and security policy shift? Will his various policy direction changes stick, and – last but not the least – what will it take to fill his shoes?

JFIT Roundtable: U.S.-Japan Relations after the Election
Nov. 10, 2020 | Register
Join UC San Diego faculty to discuss what the outcome of the U.S. election means for U.S.-Japan relations, in terms of politics, business and economy, foreign policy and security, and any potential shifts in the U.S.-Japan military alliance and the power balance in Asia. Panelists will come prepared to each present three scenarios and bring their crystal balls to offer a glimpse into the future.