British Media Images of Japan Seventy Years After World War II

A Public Panel Discussion: British Media Images of Japan Seventy Years After World War II

David McNeill (The Independent, The Economist, The Irish Times)
Justin McCurry (The Guardian & The Observer)
Moderated by: Eric Johnston (The Japan Times)

Academic Presentations

Garren Mulloy (Associate Professor, Daito Bunka University): “Self-Defence and Strategy: Seventy Years of Japanese Post-war Security”
Aleksandra Jaworowicz-Zimny (PhD Candidate, Hokkaido University): “Memories of the Asia-Pacific War in Japanese Popular Music”
Moderated by: Philip Seaton (Professor, Hokkaido University)

Date and Venue

SATURDAY, MAY 30 1:30-5:30 p.m. Osaka City University, Umeda Campus 6F, Osaka Eki Dai-Ni Bldg.

For More Information or To RSVP, please contact Eric Johnston at erichartley1964 [at mark]

Symposium Outline

OSAKA – Seven decades after the end of the Second World War, Japan finds itself looking forwards and backwards. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to announce later this year a grand vision for the 21st Century to replace the ‘Kono Statement’, even as the country’s actions in the 20th century continue to generate headlines. The Prime Minister is seen abroad as having a split personality. The ‘Good Abe’ is the one whose ‘Abenomics’ economic program appears to have had some success. The ‘Bad Abe’ is the one whose historical revisionist views continue to antagonize the East Asian region. Since returning to power in 2012, the Abe-led government has passed a controversial secrecy law, pushed through a collective self-defence agreement, called for the nation’s idled nuclear power plants to be restarted, and remains resolved to amend the pacifist Constitution. As Japanese society ages, the birth rate drops, and younger workers leave their hometowns for Tokyo, Osaka, or Nagoya, where just over half of Japan’s population now resides, the country also faces a host of social problems, some of which are quite familiar to Great Britain.

Two long-time, influential observers of the social, political, and economic issues facing Japan are David McNeill, Tokyo correspondent for The Independent, The Economist, and The Irish Times, and Justin McCurry, Tokyo correspondent for The Guardian & The Observer. On May 30th, at Osaka City University’s Umeda Satellite Campus, they will discuss their work and how the British mainstream media sees, and reports, today’s Japan. In addition, in a second session, Garren Mulloy, an associate professor at Daito Bunka University, will speak on Japan’s post-war security, a particularly timely topic, while Aleksandra Jaworowicz-Zimny of Hokkaido University will look at war memories through Japanese popular music.

Moderated by Eric Johnston of The Japan Times and Philip Seaton of Hokkaido University’s Modern Japanese Studies Program, and sponsored by the British Association of Japanese Studies (BAJS) with support from Osaka City University, the discussion kicks off the BAJS Japan chapter’s events in 2015 but is free and open to the public.

Due to space limitations, however, we ask that you RSVP in English or Japanese to Eric Johnston at erichartley1964 [at mark]

Please note: all presentations, and Q&A, will be in English. For a map (in Japanese) to the Osaka City University Satellite campus, please visit

Presenter Biographies

David McNeill writes for The Independent, The Irish Times, The Economist and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He covered the tsunami and nuclear disaster for the latter three publications and has been to Fukushima ten times since then. He has written the book Strong in the Rain: Surviving Japan’s Earthquake, Tsunami, and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster (with Lucy Birmingham) about the disasters.

Justin McCurry serves as the Japan and Korea correspondent for The Guardian & Observer (UK), the Christian Science Monitor (US), The Lancet (UK) and France 24. He a representative of The Foreign Press in Japan, an association of more than one hundred media organizations from twenty countries that works to improve access and reporting opportunities for all foreign correspondents in Japan.

Eric Johnston is Deputy Editor at The Japan Times in Osaka. He covers Osaka and Kansai area politics and society as well as nuclear power, the U.S.-Japan relationship, and renewable energy. He is the author of The Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, The Fukushima Nuclear Reactor, and How the World’s Media Covered Them and was Chief Editor of Fresh Currents: Japan’s Flow from a Nuclear Past to a Renewable Future.

Philip Seaton is a professor in the International Student Center, Hokkaido University, where he is the convenor of the Modern Japanese Studies Program. He is the author of Japan’s Contested War Memories (Routledge, 2007), Voices from the Shifting Russo-Japanese Border (co-edited with Svetlana Paichadze, Routledge, 2015) and Local History and War Memories in Hokkaido (Routledge, 2015, in press).

Garren Mulloy has been an Associate Professor in the Faculty of International Relations of Daito Bunka University since 2003, having previously taught at Keio University. He has spent over 20 years in Japan, researching political, diplomatic, and defence and security and received his doctorate (Politics, Newcastle) in 2011 for a study of Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) overseas operations. He has published on peacekeeping, defence, diplomacy, and historical subjects, including war memory and memorialisation, in English and Japanese.

Aleksandra Jaworowicz-Zimny has a master’s degree in Japanese Studies from Adam Mickiewicz University, Pozna? (Poland). She is a PhD student in the Graduate School of Education at Hokkaido University, where she is researching the depiction of the Asia-Pacific War in Japanese popular culture.