Conference to discuss Japan's future

Monday, 4 July 2005

A major Japanese studies conference hosted by the University of Adelaide that officially opens today (Monday) will ask how one of the world's most dynamic nations is preparing for the future.

The Japanese Studies Association of Australia conference, which finishes on Wednesday (July 6) is being hosted by the University of Adelaide's Centre for Asian Studies and features a host of Australian, Japanese and international scholars addressing the conference theme of "Japan - Negotiating the 21st Century".

State Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education, the Hon. Stephanie Key, will formally open the conference tomorrow (Monday) at 9am, which will be followed by the keynote address to be given by Japanese and former NASA astronaut Dr Mamoru Mohri.

President of the Japanese Studies Association of Australia and conference convenor Professor Purnendra Jain, a Professor in the University of Adelaide's Centre for Asian Studies, says an enormous range of topics will be covered during the conference.

"Japan is a very important country for Australia: it is our largest trading partner, and a strong supporter of Australia in the region," Professor Jain says. "This year has been a critical one between Japan and Australia, with the visit of Prime Minister John Howard to Japan, the possibility of a Free Trade Agreement, and Japan's support for Australia to take part in the East Asian Summit to be held later this year in Kuala Lumpur."

Other key areas to be discussed at the conference include the current controversy in Japan over proposed revisions to its Constitution, and diplomatic relations between Japan and a range of Asian countries.

Up to 250 delegates are expected to attend the conference, coming from countries such as Australia, Japan, Israel, the UK, the US, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, and India.

In addition to Dr Mohri's keynote address on the topic of technology, education and communication in Japan in the 21st Century, three distinguished international scholars will also give plenary addresses.

Professor Helen Hardacre from Harvard University will speak on constitutional revision in Japan and its significance for religion; Professor Kumiko Torikai from Rikkyo University in Tokyo will examine how Japan is meeting the challenge of language and communication, and Professor Leslie Hannah from the University of Tokyo will compare Japan's 20th Century development to those of Europe and the USA.


Contact Details

Professor Purnendra Jain
Professor of Asian Studies
Centre for Asian Studies
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 4688
Mobile: 0403 435 109

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
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Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762