Webcast sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and hosted by the Institute of Asian Research (IAR). Chaired By: Joseph Caron, Former Canadian Ambassador to Japan. Besides international factors such as the 2008 world financial crisis, there are important domestic factors in China’s current external policy. They include the intensive debates over the necessity and content of economic and political reforms, and people’s dissatisfaction and anxiety about the flip side of China’s rapid growth. This talk will take up the case of China’s hardline approach towards Japan over the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands, and discuss why it continues despite the undaunted advancement of economic exchange, and how the rest of the world should react to it. Dr. Akio Takahara graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo, and received his PhD from the University of Sussex. He previously worked at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, the Japanese consulate in Hong Kong, J.F. Oberlin University, Rikkyo University, the Japanese embassy in Beijing, and University of Tokyo. He was a visiting professor at Harvard University (2005–06). He is currently a professor at the Graduate School of Law and Politics, University of Tokyo, a member and Secretary General of the New 21st Century Committee for Japan-China Friendship and a senior researcher with the Tokyo Foundation. His academic interest revolves around contemporary Chinese politics and China’s foreign policy. His publications include “New Developments in East Asian Security” (2005), “Beyond the Borders: Contemporary Asian Studies Volume One” (2008), “Putting the Senkaku Dispute Into Pandora’s Box: Toward a ‘2013 Consensus” (2013).

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