Historical Issues and Peace Building: Japan, China and the two Koreas
29 June 2017, Cambridge
Different people tell different versions of the same history, sometimes because they disagree on the facts, and sometimes because they disagree on how to interpret them. People have different perspectives, and their versions of history may be driven by conflicting interests in the present. Historical issues might affect territorial issues as well. But although history may be contested, we have a responsibility to build peace with our neighbours, for the benefit of both present and future generations.
Japan and China have struggled to understand each other’s different perspectives on historical issues, and this has been preventing constructive diplomatic dialogue between them. Professor Akio Takahara will talk about the difficulties of handling historical issues affecting the relationship of the two nations, which seem to have increased over the last decade. He will discuss what can be done to build peace for future generations.
Professor Akio Takahara is Professor of Contemporary Chinese Politics at the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Law and Politics. He received his PhD in 1988 from Sussex University, and later was a visiting scholar at the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong, at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, at Harvard University and at Peking University. He served as President of the Japan Association for Asian Studies (2009-11) and as Secretary-General of the New Japan-China Friendship 21st Century Committee (2009-14).
Dr Kun-Chin Lin (Chair) is a lecturer in Politics, Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) and Director of the Centre for Rising Powers at the University of Cambridge. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, and obtained his PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. Kun-Chin was a Leverhulme postdoctoral fellow at the University of Oxford and taught at King's College London and the National University of Singapore.