Saturday, February 12, 2011

History matters

Making Friends While No One Is Looking: 
The Role of Sub-national Actors in 
Reconciliation in East Asia and Europe

Monday, February 14, 2011

Johns Hopkins University
Washington, DC

Panel One: Reconciliation in East Asia and Europe – Where Are We Now? 

Reconciliation between Japan and its East Asian neighbors has been rather problematic in the past. For decades Japan refused to apologize for any atrocities committed before and during World War Two and even after apologies have been issued, South Korea and China have doubted their sincerity and depth while some Japanese citizens have protested any apology as unnecessary and unpatriotic. The historical frictions continue to flare up today as the most recent incident between China and Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islets shows. Progress, however, has been made on the sub-national level, especially in the relationship between South Korea and Japan. Where do reconciliation efforts between Japan, South Korea, and China currently stand? What is the role of the government or are these efforts largely driven by sub-national groups and actors? What is the role of exchange programs in fostering reconciliation in general? What are the achievements in Germany’s foreign policy of reconciliation that might be useful as East Asian countries develop exchanges?

Speakers: Andrew Horvat, Stanford University in Kyoto; Vladimír Handl, Institute of International Relations, Prague; Lily Gardner Feldman, AICGS. Moderator: Michael Brenner, Ludwig Maximilians Universität Munich/ AICGS

Panel Two: Youth Exchanges and Sister City Programs – Educating the Next Generation By Crossing the Historical Divide? 

Youth exchanges have been an important tool for Germany’s reconciliation with its neighbors. Instituted soon after the end of World War Two, these exchanges have enabled new generations to learn about historical responsibilities and increase awareness about their neighboring countries and former victims of Nazism. The idea of sister cities, in which cities establish formal twinning agreements with other, often similar, cities in other countries, has also been one of the mechanisms of reconciliation between Germany and former victims. This cooperation can range from the symbolic to the very practical and usually includes exchange programs between the cities and municipalities. Japan, China, and South Korea have increased their exchange programs in recent years and their cities are also participating in some twinning programs. How can youth exchanges and twinning programs increase reconciliation? What are the hallmarks of successful exchanges and what conditions have to be in place to make them successful? What can Japan and other East Asian countries learn from the German example? Who is organizing and financing the youth exchanges? What is the role of the respective governments and societal actors?

Speakers: Toshihiro Menju, Japan Center for International Exchange; Dieter Bingen, Deutsches Polen Institut; Stefan Seidendorf, Deutsch-Französisches Institut. Moderator: Kirsten Verclas, AICGS.

Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Yoshibumi Wakamiya,
Asahi Shimbun

Panel Three: Media Exchanges – Providing Understanding Across Borders? 

Germany and France founded the television channel Arte in 1990, intended to bring French and German citizens closer on a cultural level and promote cultural integration throughout Europe. Exchange programs for French and German journalists have also flourished over the last decades. Similar activities occur between Japan and some of its neighbors albeit with much less frequency and intensity. What kinds of media cooperations and exchanges have been successful? What can successful endeavors such as Arte teach about reconciliation? What is the role of new media in reconciliation? Is there a multiplier effect of media cooperation and how can it be measured? How do practitioners evaluate these exchanges?

Speakers: Peter Theiner, Robert Bosch Stiftung; Chiho Sawada, Japan Policy Research Institute at University of San Francisco's Center for the Pacific Rim; Alexandra Sakaki, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
Moderator: Elizabeth A. “Lili” Cole, United States Institute of Peace.

Final Comments: American Perspectives

Speaker: Mike Mochizuki, George Washington University; Moderator: Lily Gardner Feldman, AICGS.

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