Date: 19 January 2017
Dr. Andrew Levidis presented his forthcoming manuscript concerning Japan’s long history of political conservatism, a history personified by the life and career of Kishi Nobusuke (1896-1987). A powerful enemy of democratic and liberal ideas, suspected class-A war criminal, founder of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and prime minister (1957-1960), Kishi’s presence near the center of power spanned the most fateful periods of modern Japanese history. Kishi Nobusuke bequeathed a powerful legacy to postwar Japan: a managerial state built by the principal champion of total war; a conservative tradition committed to managing society; and a factionally riven but effective – Liberal Democratic Party – that has ruled Japan virtually unchallenged to the present. Kishi pioneered and institutionalized a system of money politics, and forged key aspects of the developmental state model instituted by Park Chung-Hee in South Korea. Kishi’s life covered the arc of the Cold War in Asia, and symbolized the shift from imperial to post-imperial East Asia.
Date: 13-15 January 2017
Location: University of Cambridge, UK
The 3rd Conference “Media and How it Shapes History,” sponsored by the Toshiba International Foundation, took place at the University of Cambridge. Dr. Barak Kushner, the principal investigator of the ERC Project Dissolution of the Japanese Empire, and Professor Rana Mitter of the University of Oxford China Centre, welcomed the participants to Westminster College for a weekend of discussion and debate.
As in the first two conferences, the gathering brought together a diverse group of participants: historians, specialists in international relations, print and online journalists, and intellectuals. Addressing the big questions related to the role of media in East Asia, the attendees shared opinions and related professional experiences in stimulating discussions.
Specifically, this year’s conference differed from its two predecessors in that the organisers approached the role of the media holistically across the region. The overarching aim was to draw conclusions from three years of discussions and exchange across professional and national boundaries, and to discuss the ways in which these conclusions can be shared with the wider, global audiences. As a result of the conference, Dr. Kushner and Prof. Mitter will author an article that will summarise the work done at three gatherings and present the participants’ vision for the future of collaboration between media and academia.