Planning for Smart Cities in Japan...

Tuesday March 1,12:30-2.Room 120 UBC Institute of Asian Research, 1855 West Mall. Free event. Prof. Hidefumi Imura (Yokohama City University) will discuss shifting Japanese perspectives on energy management and smart technology investment, not only for the creation of low-carbon cities and a green economy, but also for disaster recovery.  ...

Simulating Survival

Wednesday, Feb 24. 1:30-2:30. Room 604,UBC Asian Centre. Free event. Sponsored by the Centre for Japanese Research,  this talk by Ben Whaley asks the question of whether a video game might help us better understand the trauma of another through an analysis of the PlayStation 2 game Zettaizetsumei Toshi (2002, Disaster Report, 2003). In the game, players must use limited resources to escape from an earthquake- and tsunami-stricken Japanese city, while rescuing other survivors and crafting tools for survival. Ian Bogost (2011) argues that if video games are to foster empathy for real-world situations, then players should be cast as the “downtrodden.” I introduce the idea of “limited engagement” or a form of operationalized weakness in which the game design intentionally subtracts in-game skills and items in order to communicate a sense of vulnerability and victimhood to the player. Drawing on a personal interview with the game’s creator, this talk discusses the real-world survival skills and techniques the game series is credited with teaching Japanese players. I conclude by discussing disaster photography within the video game and how its presence within a larger interactive framework might prompt a stronger empathetic engagement with representational...

Dark Tourism

Wednesday, Jan 20. 12-2 pm. Room 120, C.K. Choi Building. UBC. Free event. Speaker: Dr. Kaori Yoshida (Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University) The Complexity of Dark Tourism: Packaging ‘Edutainment’ of War Tourism in Japan  Sponsors: Centre for Japanese Research Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and Park and the Nagasaki Peace Park are internationally recognized war-related tourist destinations. While these ‘A-bomb’ sites have been often criticized for relying on “victim consciousness”, the discussion of interpretation and presentation of these sites has become extremely complex. Comparing two war-related destinations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this talk discusses contrasting relationships of memorial and touristic sites presented at the destinations. It explores how the memory of A-bomb tragedy has been constructed, interpreted, publicized, and embedded in war tourism, by examining various tourist materials including brochures and school trip promotional materials. Certainly both cities remain focal destination for historical education for the young generations of contemporary Japan. Yet, while Hiroshima seems to take an approach to highlight the destination as the symbol of national of tragedy, Nagasaki well blends educational component of war memorials in an aesthetic cultural landscape of a historic city. The findings from the study further our understanding the complexity of war and tourism at the two destinations....

John Howes Lecture

Monday, January 18th, 2016. 5-8pm. UBC Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall. Free Event 5PM Reception with refreshments. 6PM Lecture. Speaker: Dr Norma Field, University of Chicago March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the triple disaster, the Great East Japan Earthquake that brought with it a tsunami and nuclear catastrophe. In 2013 Prime Minister Abe won the 2020 Olympics for Tokyo by declaring the spread of radioactively contaminated waters “under control,” to widespread disbelief back home. And yet, that declaration has been steadily converted into truth through the collaboration, witting and unwitting, of bureaucratic mandate and citizen need-to-forget. The process is aided and abetted by the accelerated redefinition of the character of the postwar Japanese nation. Still, to provide a merely dystopian account would be to commit a falsehood and an injustice. Let us, rather, consider the efforts being made, with intuitive or disciplined suspension of disbelief, and in defiance of the multifarious tentacles of the late Mrs. Thatcher’s dictum, to struggle for an alternative world. Those efforts take on especially precarious, contradictory, and determined form in Fukushima, and it is to them that the heart of this talk will be dedicated. Please note that you must register for this...

East Asian Update

Monday, December 7. 11:30am-1:30pm. Sculpture Gallery Room, Listel Hotel, 1300 Robson St. Ticketed event. Robert Iwata Memorial Lecture 2015 Featuring Yuen Pau Woo, President of HQ Vancouver Mr. Woo, Past President and CEO of the Asian Pacific Foundation of Canada, will be reporting on his recent visits to Japan and China in his capacity as President of HQ Vancouver. He will discuss a variety of topics including business opportunities for Japanese SMEs; the market reaction to the possibility of a trilateral free-trade agreement among China, South Korea and Japan and the business atmosphere in Japan after the Chinese stock market crash in June 2015. We invite all Canada Japan Society members, their guests and members of our affiliated organisations to welcome Mr Woo home from his travels and to share their thoughts with him directly. The event promises to be an enlightening opportunity for all to network with others who share their interests. Ticket prices: $60 for Canada Japan Society and co-sponsor members; $65 for non-members. Reserved Corporate tables of 8 are available at a discount price – please contact secretariat@canadajapansociety.bc.ca for more details. We encourage pre-payment by cheque mailed to: P.O. Box 47071, 15-555 W 12th Ave., Vancouver, BC V5Z 3X0 Please make cheques PAYABLE to “THE CANADA-JAPAN SOCIETY OF BC” For planning purposes, please reply to secretariat@canadajapansociety.bc.ca and register by Wednesday, December 2nd. Please note that we cannot accept cancellations after December 2nd and NO-SHOWS will be CHARGED. We look forward to seeing you at the Listel Hotel!   Event sponsored by the Canada Japan Society of BC, community sponsor of  the  2015 Vancouver Yokohama Golden...

Asia-Pacific and Japan...

Thursday, Sept 17. 2:30-4:00. DLA Piper, 28F 666 Burrard. $10. Co-sponsored by Canada Japan Society of BC, Consulate General of Japan and DLA Piper “Strategic and Economic Environment of Asia-Pacific and Japan” Ambassador Shingo Yamagami, Ambassador for Policy Planning and International Security Police will outline recent Asia-Pacific issues focusing on their strategic aspects. Specifically, he’ll touch upon economic affairs on both sides of the Pacific, such as the TPP and Japan-Canada EPA, as well as the recent security concerns surrounding Japan. For more information contact Canada Japan Society: office@canadajapansociety.bc.ca...