My Films

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tokyo: International Symposium on the Media's Role in Historical Reconciliation

This Saturday, April 5th, there will be a symposium on the Media's role in Historical Reconciliation at the Goeth Institute in Akasaka, Tokyo. The details on the Goeth Institute website is in German, but I was forwarded the email in English last week. Sorry for not posting earlier.
Particularly I am interested in the second panel discussion on whether journalists can be peacemakers? This is a question that came up during my peace journalism course at Transcend University. Also, Hans-Robert Eisenhauer, the producer of the documentary Why We Fight (2005) will be in attendance. I had the pleasure of attending a screening of this film in LA with the director Eugene Jarecki present. The film is about the US military-industrial-complex and it is on my must-see list.


International Symposium
Peacemakers or Powder Monkeys – the Role of the Media in Post-WWII History Debates in Europe and Northeast Asia
Date and time: April 5, 2008, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m
Place: Goethe-Institut Japan, 7-5-56 Akasaka, Minato-ku. Tokyo 107- 0052
Co-organized by: -- Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Tokyo Office (FES)
-- International Center for the Study of Historical Reconciliation at Tokyo Keizai University (TKU)
-- Goethe-Institut Japan in Tokyo

In recent months, the long shadow of World War II seems for a time to have lifted from the map of East Asia. New leaders in China, Korea and Japan are making efforts to put a difficult past behind them. But is this the beginning of a permanent reconciliation or just a lull in an ongoing war of words? This month, a dispute over contaminated dumplings imported from China unleashed a torrent of such unrelentingly critical coverage in the Japanese media that an official visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao had to be postponed. The US Marine Corps dictionary defines a powder monkey as one who carries explosives to gun crews on a battleship. Reporters everywhere have plied their trade by stoking the fires of nationalism. But is the media also not capable of promoting peace? Japanese, Chinese, and Korean reporters have been meeting for years in attempts to confront the past. In Europe, ARTE TV funded jointly by French and German tax-payers, beams programs on public affairs and the arts, simultaneously in two languages. Might a similar multi-lingual network be established in Asia one day? Or should we pin our hopes on the Internet to forge shared perceptions of past and future?
Keynote speakers:
Hans-Robert Eisenhauer, ZDF; former deputy chief of programming ARTE
Yoshibumi Wakamiya, chief editorial writer, Asahi Shimbun;
Tetsuya Chikushi; host of TBS nightly news hour
Chung Ku-Chong; President,, Seoul
William Horsley; former BBC bureau chief, Tokyo, Bonn
Yasushi Kudo; founder Genron NPO, coordinator of annual China-Japan media meetings
Park Cheol-Hee; professor, political science, Seoul National University
10:00 – 10:15 Registration and Greetings
Markus WERNHARD, Head of Arts, Goethe-Institut Tokyo
Andrew HORVAT, Visiting Professor, Tokyo Keizai University
TBA Japan Representative, Friedrich Ebert Foundation
10:15 – 12:00 Roundtable: The Internet: Bridge or Barrier to Forging a Shared Vision of the Past in Northeast Asia
Dr Chung Kuchong, President,,
Iris Georlette, Japan correspondent, Ha'aretz
12:00 – 13:00 lunch break
13:00 – 14:45 Panel 1: The Art of ARTE – Telling the Same Story to Two Audiences
Speaker: Hans-Robert Eisenhauer, ZDF; former deputy chief of programming at the joint French-German TV network ARTE; producer; “Why We Fight,” winner of prize for best documentary at Sundance Film Festival 2005
Tetsuya Chikushi; host, TBS nightly news hour
William Horsley; formerly BBC bureau chief, Tokyo, Bonn
14:45 – 15:15 Coffee Break
15:15 – 17:00 Panel 2: Can Journalists be Peacemakers? 
Speaker: Yoshibumi Wakamiya, chief editorial writer, the Asahi Shimbun; author of The Postwar Conservative View of Asia: How
the Political Right has Delayed Japan's Coming to Terms With its
History of Aggression in Asia
Yasushi Kudo; founder and head, Genron NPO
Park Cheol-Hee; professor, political science, Seoul National University
17:00 – 17:30   Free discussion
17:30 Buffet reception
Simultaneous English-Japanese translation available;
Admission is free but participants are kindly requested to register in advance using the reply form sent as separate attachment.

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