Symposium Commemorating '311'

A year has almost passed since what Japanese call ‘311' - or the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011 - a tsunami and nuclear disaster that shocked the world. As people in Japan prepare to commemorate the first anniversary of the event, Danish scholars studying Japan and their Japanese counterparts studying in Copenhagen have decided to join together to hold a three-part symposium dedicated to 311. This symposium intends to ask - What challenges have the Japanese faced over the past year? How are they coping with and responding to them? What did they learn? What insights and implications can they share with us, and what can we share with them?

The three-part symposium consists of

* Keynote speech: "Reflecting on a year since 311: what we did and what we learned" by Professor Chiharu Takenaka, Rikkyo University (Tokyo, Japan), who will talk about activities that she undertook in the year since the earthquake by involving students, NGOs, journalists, and afflicted local communities in providing support to the disaster victims and developing a healing and learning process for all involved.

* Panel discussion #1: "Civil engineering dimension of 311" by Dr. Anni Greve (Roskilde University) & Dr. Kazuyoshi Nishijima (DTU) will explore issues on city planning, debate about safety regulations of buildings and nuclear plants, and challenges of the conceptualization of risks.

* Panel discussion #2: "Civil society dimension of 311" by Dr. Annette Hansen (Aarhus University) & Dr. Aki Tonami (NIAS) will examine mobilization of support for the disaster victims through social media, international aid and collaboration, and the evolution of voluntary groups in Japanese society since the Kobe earthquake in 1995.

Throughout the symposium, time is set aside for discussion among the panellists and with the floor. We cordially invite all those who are able to gather with us to reflect and learn, as well as to commemorate the anniversary of the disaster that took lives of so many people.

The symposium is organized and hosted by the Copenhagen 311 Committee (Chair: Professor Takashi Suganuma, Rikkyo University & Roskilde University), with close support from NIAS - Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Asia Research Centre of Copenhagen Business School, Roskilde University Department of Society & Globalization, and NIHONJINKAI / Den Japanske Forening i Danmark.

Participation is free of charge, but registration is required.

Time: 13:00 - 16:00, Thursday, 8 March 2012

Venue: Alexandersalen, Copenhagen University
Bispetorvet 1-3, 1167 Copenhagen

Coffee, tea and snacks will be served prior to the event.