ARCHIVED Britain, Japan and the World in between – A Conversation with Richard Needham and Philip Stephens
Tuesday 6 July 2021
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In this special event, we are delighted to welcome two old friends of the Japan Society to join Bill Emmott in a conversation about Britain and Japan and their place in the world: the businessman and politician Sir Richard Needham, and the journalist Philip Stephens.
With a wealth of experience and a reputation for astute observation, our two guests will bring their different perspectives to an informal discussion on the state of the world in mid-2021 and where the UK and Japan find themselves. Their conversation will inevitably include topics such as our two countries’ relationship post-Brexit, the sixth month old UK Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the UK’s ‘tilt’ toward the Indo-Pacific, relations with China, COP26 and areas for cooperation in green technology, and more, interwoven with anecdote and humour. And of course there’ll be time for your questions and contributions to the evening.
Sir Richard Needham (6th Earl of Kilmorey) is a politician and businessman. He was a Member of Parliament from 1979-1997, serving as Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1985-1992) and as Minister of State for Trade (1992-1995), when he played a pivotal role in the ‘Action Japan Campaign’, to help promote trade and investment between Japan and the UK.
He was a founding member of the UK-Japan 2000 Group, now the UK-Japan 21st Century Group. He has been a director of NEC Corporation Europe for nearly 25 years. His most recent book is One Man, Two Worlds (Blackstaff 2021), in which he traces his journey from businessman to politician and back again to his roots in commerce.
Philip Stephens is associate editor of the Financial Times and director of the editorial board. As chief political commentator he writes on global and British affairs. He joined the Financial Times in 1983 after working as a correspondent for Reuters in Brussels and has been the FT’s economics editor, political editor and editor of the UK edition.
He won the David Watt Prize for Outstanding Political Journalism (2002); Political Journalist of the Year by the UK Political Studies Association (2005); and Political Journalist of the Year in the British Press Awards (2008). His most recent book is Britain Alone: the Path from Suez to Brexit (Faber, January 2021), a survey of Britain’s post-war role on the global stage.
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