From left: Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jim Zumwalt; Sen. Daniel Inouye; Japanese Ambassador to the U.N. Tsuneo Nishida.

The 2011 – 2012 academic year marks the 20th anniversary of the UCLA Paul I. and Hisako Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies. To commemorate this milestone, the center will be holding its first-ever annual forum, “New Visions of Japan,” on Friday, June 1, from 4 to 6 p.m. on the UCLA campus.

The theme engages both the transformative impact of the current situation in Japan as well as the fundamental changes that the nation has been undergoing over the past 20 years. The current crisis has already had a strong effect on all levels of Japanese society and culture, from economics, politics, social media, energy policy, to creative culture.

At the same time, these changes are taking place against the backdrop of fundamental transformations in Japanese society that became especially clear following the end of the Cold War. The theme is designed to highlight the innovative work that people are doing in various fields (both inside and outside Japan) to rethink and reshape Japan’s identity within a global context.

The public opening will commence with a series of lectures discussing the topic of the new political and economic relationship between the U.S. and Japan. A closed discussion of Japan Center directors will take place prior to the forum.

Featured speakers and presentations:

• “U.S.-Japan Relations in Transition.” In the last ten years, Japan and the U.S. faced numerous political, economic, and security challenges. In the context of a dynamic Asia-Pacific region, which is rapidly changing, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Senate president pro tempore, will discuss the growing and transitioning U.S.-Japan relationship.

• “U.S.-Japan Relationship: A Post-Prime Minister Noda Visit Report Card.” Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s visit to Washington, D.C. on April 30 came at an important time in U.S.-Japan relations. The two nations’ leaders discussed the security alliance, global partnership, economic relations and people-to-people ties between the two nations.  Jim Zumwalt, deputy assistant secretary of state for Japan and Korea, will discuss the status of U.S.-Japan relations in each of these areas, and propose some ideas for an agenda for the future.

• “Japan-U.S. Cooperation at the United Nations.” As reaffirmed at the April summit meeting in Washington, Japan and the U.S. have a shared vision for the future that guides them in their efforts to address various global challenges. Ambassador Tsuneo Nishida, permanent representative of Japan to the U.N., will present his view, from a U.N. perspective, as to how the two countries are working closely together.

The venue is Korn Convocation Hall inside the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a complex located in the north/central section of the campus, near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Westwood Plaza. For a map and driving instructions, please visit

The symposium is open to the public. To RSVP, click here.

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