Japan Awareness Panel
On Friday 1 April, the LUC Research Centre and the Modern East Asia Research Centre co-hosted a panel of experts to discuss recent events in Japan, with the intention of disseminating accurate, reliable information, and also to provide opportunity for coordination of some fund-raising activities.
The hosts were delighted that so many people attended the event, and also that Prof.dr. Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, a long-time patron of MEARC and the former EU Ambassador to Japan, took the time to chair the event for us.
In addition to the panelists and audience, the event attracted attention from representatives of the Dutch government, media and business. Minister Ishii of the Japanese Embassy was also in attendance, and he spoke of the traditional importance of water in Japanese history and culture, noting its extreme nature in that part of the world.
The panel (left to right) included Prof Chris Goto-Jones, dean of LUC, director of MEARC and professor of comparative philosophy at Leiden, who spoke about the place of natural disasters and nuclear crisis in the literary culture of modern Japan; Dr Rogier Busser, assistant professor of Japanese Political Economy at Leiden, who spoke about the likely impact of the disastrous events of March on the Japanese and world economy; Dr Ethan Mark, assistant professor of Modern Japanese History at Leiden, who spoke about popular and grass-roots reactions to the crises in Japan; Dr Jan Leen Kloosterman, associate professor of Nuclear Reactor Physics, Delft University, who explained the crisis in the Fukushima reactors; and Prof Jean Savelhout, professor of Radiation Safety & Health, Leiden University and VU Amsterdam, who explained the possible effects of radiation on the health and environment of Japan and elsewhere.
Every seat was taken in the lecture hall, as a diverse audience of students, academics, government representatives, journalists, business people and a wide general audience sought more information about events in Japan. In the end, it was decided to continue the discussion about how help could and should be provided to the people most impacted by these events. A collection was made for the Japanese Red Cross -- the panelists all waived their honoraria so that the money could be donated to the Red Cross -- more events will be planned in a considered way over the next period.
Read more at our LUC Research Blog.