Art & Design

Sport and Diplomacy: Past Reflections and Looking Towards 2020

15 May 2017, London

Japan is due to host two sporting ‘mega-events’ in the next few years: The Rugby World Cup 2019 and The Summer Olympics, Tokyo 2020.

The build up to these events provides an opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future role of sport as an opportunity for diplomacy. This symposium, organised by the Japan Foundation London, the Japan Sport Council London and SOAS Japan Research Centre, focuses on mega-sporting events as a public diplomatic platform, and how they create legacies for the global community.

Sport Diplomacy is a relatively new and flourishing field in academia building upon the heritage of studies in sport and history, politics and sociology. With the 2019 and 2020 events on the horizon, this event will examine the role of sports throughout history in Japan since the hosting of the Olympics in 1964 in Tokyo.

We are pleased to welcome Mr Tetsuya Kimura, the Director General of Japan Sports Agency, the extra-ministerial bureau of Japanese sports, as a key speaker to talk about the nation’s government led initiative 'Sport for Tomorrow'. Sport for Tomorrow is an international project to implement changes on a national and international scale in time for and beyond 2020, which consists of three pillars: international cooperation through sports, academy for future sports leaders, and promotion of sport integrity through global anti-doping activities.

The symposium looks at sports’ versatility as a diplomatic communication medium, and how Japan approaches the unique opportunity of hosting mega-sporting events to leverage the power of sport in this time of globalization.


Keynote Speakers

  • Tetsuya Kimura ( Director-General, Japan Sports Agency)
  • Richard Caborn (former Minister of Sport 2001-7)
  • Dr Helen Macnaughtan (Chair, SOAS Japan Research Centre)
  • Dr J Simon Rofe (SOAS University of London)

Organisers: Japan Foundation London, Japan Sport Council London and SOAS Japan Research Centre

The event is also supported by JSPS London and is followed by a reception sponsored by Sake Samurai.

The event is free and open to the public but registration is essential to guarantee a place. To book a place please click here to use the online application form

For further details and to view the event programme please visit the SOAS website here (Link:


Image: Courtesy of the Japan Sport Council

15 May 2017 from 5.30pm
SOAS University of London, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS University of London , WC1H 0XG

Tel: 02028984893

Japan Foundation London, Japan Sport Council  London, SOAS Japan Research Centre