The 8th conference of NAJAKS, themed “Bridging Japan and Korea”, was held in Helsinki on August 19-20, 2010.
Japan and Korea have long historical relations of interaction and entanglement. However, recent history has been overshadowed by the Japanese colonial rule of Korea (1910-1945), Korea’s partition (1948) and the Korean War (1950-1953). It is only in the post-Cold War context that the attempts at the reconciliation of political, historical and cultural issues on various levels – governmental, semi-governmental, academic, civil, popular and grass-roots – have become possible in Japan and Korea. The political, social, cultural as well as other issues related to Japan and Korea are by no means peripheral or particular on the world map. On the contrary, they raise a number of critical questions concerning, for example, modernity, colonialism, post-colonialism, militarism, the nation-state, the Cold War and the post-Cold War era. The histories of Japan and Korea are entangled in complex and ironical manners not only within East Asia but also in the larger modern world order. Therefore, the studies on Japanese and Korean experiences, their interrelation, tension, conflict and attempts at reconciliation provide a vantage point to examine critical issues that are relevant for broader subjects as well.
Keynote Speaker was Professor Christopher Hughes, University of Warwick, UK. The title of his keynote lecture was Still Super-Sizing the DPRK Threat: Japan’s Security Policy and the Korean Peninsula.
Mikako Iwatake, chair (mikako.iwatake[a]helsinki.fi)
Jeong-Young Kim (jykdurham[a]hotmail.com)
Kauko Laitinen (kauko.laitinen[a]helsinki.fi)
Antti Leppänen (antti.leppanen[a]gmail.com)
Miika Pölkki (miika.polkki[a]helsinki.fi)
The NAJAKS 2010 conference was sponsored by the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies.
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