On the 8th of January, 2014, Professor ITO Go delivered a lecture with the theme of “Values and Foreign Policies”.
Differently from the conventional arrangement, Prof. Ito started with a “Q&A” (questions and answers) session with the students, concerning one of the current “big hit” political issues – Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s recent visit to Yasukuni Shrine, which caused huge turbulence in the diplomatic world in the Asia Pacific Region. An array of appealing topics were touched upon, from “political recruitment of Japanese Prime Ministers” to “intellectual prosperity rights” as part of his grand introduction. Prof. Ito further elaborated on some very “controversial” issues, for instance, the impacts in the Sino-Japan-US relationship after Mr. Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine from different perspectives, the Sino-Japan dispute over the “Senkaku Inlands”, known to Chinese as the “Diaoyu Islands”, and the Korea-Japan dispute over “Takeshima Island”, known to Koreans as “Dokdo” among others. His depth and breadth of knowledge, and profound analysis and perspectives left a deep impression on the audience.
In terms of “right or wrong”, “good or bad”, and “justice and injustice”, there can hardly be any definite answers, especially for international relations or the perspectives of different interest groups. Audience members were actively engaged even during the break, and some concerns were raised for the possible consequences for Sino-Japan trading and the potential imperialism rising in Japanese domestic politics, upon which Prof. Ito shared his insights and comments.
This thought-provoking lecture was a success, and further reflection might be left to the audience concerning the “universal values” of “good, right, justice” in the setting of politics.
Written by (Edison) Xiaolong ZOU, PhD Student, GSAD.