In the past ten years, with the rise of China and the maturation of the Australia-Japan relationship, the comment “Does Japan Still Matter?” has been heard. Repeatedly the bilateral relationship has been described as a stable but unexciting old marriage.
Professor Kent Anderson argues that it is time to move to discussion about how we make Japan relevant and exciting for the Australian community. It is time to shift towards selling Japan rather than defending its position. With this new approach, the focus is more on our youth - that is, students - than the established business, government and community leaders.
To capture youth’s interest, it is critical to focus on supporting our teaching infrastructure, increasing our study abroad to Japan through mechanisms such as the New Colombo Plan, and making Japan relevant to the interests and aspirations of a new generation.
Professor Kent Anderson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) and Professor of Law at the University of Adelaide, is a comparative lawyer specialising in Japan. After tertiary study in Japan, US, and UK, Kent first worked as a marketing manager with a US regional airline in Alaska doing joint ventures with Japan, then as a practicing commercial lawyer in Hawaii. He joined academia as associate professor at Hokkaido University School of Law. Prior to his move to the University of Adelaide, Kent held a joint appointment at the Australian National University College of Law and Faculty of Asian Studies, where he was Head of the ANU Japan Centre and subsequently Dean and Director from 2007-2011.
His research and teaching are focused on comparative Japanese law including the recent introduction of the quasi-jury system (saiban-in seido).
This presentation will be of wide interest to all concerned about the future of the Australia-Japan relationship.
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