GDR Policy towards Japan: 1949-1989

10:00 to 11:00

With Dr. Shogo Akagawa, Editor-in-Chief for Europe, Middle East and Africa,
the Japanese Newspaper Nikkei

The German-Japanese relations between 1949 and 1989 are unexplored and often overlooked: namely, relations between Japan and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). In this Book the GDR’s Japan policy is analysed in detail using German and Japanese archival materials as well as interviews with contemporary witnesses. Moreover, hitherto unknown events, such as negotiations to establish diplomatic relations, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany’s (SED) political manoeuvres in Japan or various attempts to circumvent the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom)-Embargo by Japanese companies are brought to light. Based on numerous sources, this book reveals how systematically the SED’s Japan strategy was constructed, and how deeply Japanese political and economic figures were involved. The findings show the current Japanese governing party Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in an unfavourable light because its leaders tolerated the partially hostile Japan policy of the SED. The same criticism applies to some well-known Japanese companies.
Shogo Akagawa is a Japanese journalist working for The NIKKEI as an Editor-in-Chief for EMEA based in London. He began his career after working as a trainee at several European banks. In 1999 he was awarded the Japan Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association prize for journalism. He has published numerous interviews with various European head of state or governors of the central banks, articles, books and has held lectures in Japan as well as in Europe. He graduated in economics from the Keio University (B.A.). He holds a Master’s degree as well as a Doctorate in political sciences from the Freie Universität Berlin.

Moderator: Dr. Patrik Ström, Director, European Institute of Japanese Studies, Stockholm School of Economics and Co-Director, Center for Asian Studies, Stockholm School of Economics
Discussant: Dr. Axel Berkofsky, Associate Professor, University of Pavia

Center for Asian Studies at Stockholm School of Economics -Seminar on Asia
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