ARCHIVED 3/11 and Fukushima Dai-ichi 10 years on with Yoichi Funabashi and David Warren
Thursday 4 March 2021
12.00 noon – 1.00pm (GMT)
9.00pm – 10.00pm (JST)
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Free – Donations Welcome
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After the terrible tragedy of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami on 11 March 2011, and the related disaster of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant meltdown, investigations by the government, by the Diet and by independent bodies sought to learn lessons and recommend reforms to ensure better prevention and greater preparedness in the future. One high profile independent investigation was made by the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, a think-tank set up by the former Asahi Shimbun Editor-in-Chief, Yoichi Funabashi, which has since expanded to become Asia Pacific Initiative.
Ten years later, what has changed in Fukushima and what remains to be done? What did the domestic and international response to that disaster tell us about Japan and its international relations?
To consider these questions, Japan Society chairman Bill Emmott will be joined by Yoichi Funabashi and Sir David Warren, former chair of the Japan Society, who was UK Ambassador in Tokyo in 2011. At the time of the disasters he brought in British scientific expertise, in the form of the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington. How was Sir John’s advice received and what impact did it have?
Dr Yoichi Funabashi is co-founder and chairman of Asia Pacific Initiative, an award-winning Japanese journalist, columnist and author. He has written extensively on foreign affairs, the US–Japan Alliance, geo-economics and historical issues in the Asia Pacific. He has a distinguished career as a journalist. He served as a correspondent for the Asahi Shimbun in Beijing (1980-81) and Washington (1984-87), as US General Bureau Chief (1993-97) and later as Editor-in-Chief (2007-10). He established Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, an independent Tokyo-based think tank, in September 2011, which expanded to become Asia Pacific Initiative in 2017. At RJIF he oversaw the Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident (Routledge, 2011). His English books include Meltdown (March 2021); The Crisis of Liberal Internationalism, ed. (2020); The Peninsula Question (2007); Reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific, ed. (2003); Alliance Adrift (1998), winner of the Shincho Arts and Sciences Award.
Sir David Warren (chairman of the Japan Society 2013 – 2019) was British ambassador to Japan from 2008 to 2012, having served twice before in the British embassy in Tokyo during his career with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). He was also head of the FCO's China Hong Kong department from 1998 to 2000, and a member of the FCO's board of management (as director of human resources) from 2004 to 2007. He is a member of the council of the University of Kent, having served as chair from 2014-2020, was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) until December 2020, and is an Honorary Professor at Sheffield University and a member of the Management Board of the Sainsbury Institute for Japanese Arts and Cultures at the University of East Anglia.
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