Tuesday 15th March 2011, 10.30am to 12pm, Michio Morishima Room, Room R505, Lionel Robbins Building, LSE
Update, Wednesday 9th March - This event is now full. No more registrations are being taken.
Speaker: Mitoji Yabunaka
Chair: Ian Nish
Mr Yabunaka will give an overview of the security environment in the East Asian context, including Japan’s relations with China and the challenges on the Korean Peninsular. He will touch on Japan’s ties with the US and Russia, and will discuss the various challenges and possible scenarios for Japanese diplomacy.
Mr Yabunaka recently retired from the foreign service after a 41-year career with Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During that time he held a number of important positions. He has had extensive experience relevant to the topic of the lecture, first as Deputy Director General of the then Asian and Oceania Affairs Bureau from 1997, and then as Director General of the Asia Pacific Bureau from 2002. In this capacity he served as the Chief Representative of the Japanese Government to the Six-Party Talks on North Korea and has visited that country three times in 2004.
His close involvement in security issues in East Asia continued. In 2007 he became Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of Political Affairs, and the following year he was appointed Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, thus becoming the top civil servant in the Foreign Ministry. In this role he oversaw Japanese foreign policy in its entirety. Having served four Prime Ministers as Vice Minister, Mr Yabunaka retired from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2010, becoming Advisor to the Foreign Minister as well as taking on his current position of Advisor to the Nomura Research Institute. He has written several books, including Destiny of a Nation, published last year, which has become a bestseller in Japan.
In 1990-91 Mr Yabunaka spent a year as a senior researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London.
Professor Ian NIsh, Emeritus Professor of International History
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