International Diplomacy Challenges for Britain and Japan: An Overview

Date: Wednesday 21st January 2009, 6.00pm
Venue: Daiwa Foundation Japan House, 13/14 Cornwall Terrace, London, NW1 4QP

This is the first seminar in a year-long series which will set the challenges facing the UK and Japan within the broader framework of international diplomacy. The series will analyse the structures and systems that allow for consultation and cooperation in national, regional and global contexts; it will consider bilateral and multilateral relationships against the backdrop of history and present-day and future agendas. The global financial crisis, international security, climate change and problems in the developing world are among the themes to be addressed through the year. In this opening session, the speakers will highlight some of the issues and concerns that are dominating the international stage, as seen through the lenses of Britain and Japan. On the evening following the US presidential inauguration, we anticipate discussion and debate on the impact of political change on the dynamics of international relations as well as the roles to be played by the UK and Japan in cooperating with the new US government.

Minister Sumio Kusaka is Consul-General (Head of Chancery), Embassy of Japan, London. After graduating from Chuo University in 1978, he joined the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serving as Senior Coordinator of the G-7 Economic Summit (1995), Director in charge of APEC Affairs and the Developing Economic Division (1995). He was seconded to the Prime Minister’s Office as Executive Secretary to the Chief Cabinet Secretary (1997) and served as Minister and Head of Chancery, Embassy of Japan, Washington DC (2000), Deputy Director-General, International Bureau, Ministry of Finance (2005) and Deputy Director-General, Economic Affairs Bureau, MOFA (2006). Minister Kusaka was a Fellow at Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University from 1999-2000.

William Horsley
is a journalist and writer on international affairs and Chairman of the Association of European Journalists in the UK. He took a degree in Japanese Studies at Oxford University in 1971 and was BBC Bureau Chief in Tokyo from 1983 to 1990, covering Japan, China and other parts of Asia for BBC TV and Radio. Since then, based in Germany and the UK, he has reported extensively on the re-shaping of Europe’s political landscape after the end of the Cold War and major developments in world diplomacy. He left BBC News in 2007 to continue writing and broadcasting independently, and is now also international director of the Centre for Freedom of the Media attached to the University of Sheffield. He is the co-author with Roger Buckley of Nippon: New Superpower (BBC Books, 1990).

Sir Graham Fry
(chair) served as British Ambassador to Japan (2004-2008). He joined the Diplomatic Service in 1972 after graduating from Oxford University. He had postings at the British Embassy in Tokyo (1975-1978, 1989-1993) and Paris (1983-1987) and was British High Commissioner in Malaysia from 1998-2001.

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