Vol. 5, No. 13 (October 2, 2009)
The opinions and materials contained herein do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the Government of Japan.
In this issue
Press Conference by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
The following is the transcript of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's recent press conference. To learn more, please read about the September 16th designation of the Prime Minister and inauguration of his Cabinet. You can also read about the inauguration in a September 18th article from the Foreign Press Center's Japan Brief.
Opening Remarks by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
Earlier, at the moment when I was elected Prime Minister by both the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors, I was deeply moved, trembling at the thought that Japanese history was in the making. At the same time I felt a great sense of responsibility at the privilege of serving at the forefront in transforming this country into one of popular sovereignty in the true sense of the word.
The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)...
2nd Day of the Visit to the US:
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama attended the opening ceremony of the United Nations Summit on Climate Change in the morning of September 22 (local time).
At the opening ceremony, in front of world leaders Prime Minister Hatoyama announced Japan's reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions, stating that...
3rd Day of the Visit to the US:
Prime Minister Hatoyama and President Obama
(© Cabinet Public Relations Office)
September 24, 2009
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama held talks with Mr. Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, in the morning of September 23 (local time).
During the talks, the two leaders exchanged views on Japan-US relations and the situation in the Asia- Pacific region, including the North Korean issues, as well as on global issues such as...
4th Day of the Visit to the US:
UN Security Council Summit on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament;
Address at the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly
Prime Minister and Mrs. Hatoyama receive a welcome from President and First Lady Obama at the opening reception.
( © Cabinet Public Relations Office)
September 25, 2009
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama delivered a statement at the United Nations Security Council Summit on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament in the morning of September 24 (local time).
In the statement, Prime Minister Hatoyama declared...
5th Day of the Visit to the US: Pittsburgh G-20 Summit
The Prime Minister attends the first pitch ceremony for the Pirates - Dodgers game and meets Dodgers player Hiroki Kuroda.
(© Cabinet Public Relations Office)
September 26, 2009
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, together with Mr. Hirohisa Fujii, Minister of Finance, attended the plenary session of the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit on September 25 (local time). During the plenary session, leaders...
Foreign Minister Katusya Okada's Official Visit to the U.S.
Foreign Minister Okada and Secretary Clinton
-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
September 24, 2009
Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, having assumed the post of Foreign Minister under the new Hatoyama Cabinet on September 16th, made an official visit to the U.S. from September 21st through the 26th, visiting New York and Pittsburgh to attend the UN General Assembly and the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting.
On the 21st, while in New York, he met with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton for his first US-Japan Summit Meeting since assuming office. He also made a statement, available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), at the 6th Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT on September 24th.
The Foreign Minister's statement as the Chairman of the Asian Group at the "UNRWA at 60" (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) High Level Event is also available.
Foreign Minister Okada at the 6th Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT
2010 Reischauer Scholars Program Accepting Applications
SPICE being awarded the 2007 Media/Technology Prize for the Goldman Sachs Foundation Prize for Excellence in International Education. (left to right) Ronald Thorpe (Vice President, Director of Education, Thirteen/WNET), Gary Mukai (Director, SPICE), Naomi Funahashi (RSP Coordinator and Instructor, SPICE), Michelle Armstrong (Program Officer, The Goldman Sachs Foundation).
(© Elsa Ruiz, Asia Society)
Reischauer Scholars Program
Coordinator and Instructor
SPICE, Stanford University
The Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE) would like to invite all interested high school juniors and seniors to apply to the 2010 Reischauer Scholars Program (RSP). The RSP is an online course based at Stanford University that annually selects 25 exceptional students from throughout the United States to engage in an intensive study of Japan.
Founded more than 30 years ago to help students understand the increasingly interdependent world in which we live, SPICE serves as a bridge between the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and elementary and secondary schools in the United States as well as independent schools abroad. In addition to the RSP, SPICE develops supplementary curriculum based on Stanford scholarship and conducts professional development seminars for teachers locally, nationally, and internationally.
Named in honor of former Ambassador to Japan Edwin O. Reischauer, a leading educator and noted scholar of Japanese history and culture, the RSP offers Internet-based lectures and discussions on topics ranging from U.S.-Japan relations to Japanese history, literature, religion, art, politics, economics, education, and contemporary society. Prominent scholars affiliated with Stanford University, the University of Tokyo, and the University of Hawaii , among others, present lectures and engage students in online dialogue. The RSP received funding for the first three years of the program from the United States-Japan Foundation and FSI. Funding for the 2007 and 2008 RSP was provided by the Center for Global Partnership, The Japan Foundation, and FSI.
To download the 2010 application form, high school juniors and seniors should visit www.reischauerscholars.org. The postmark deadline for the 2010 RSP application is October 16, 2009. For more information about the RSP, contact Naomi Funahashi, RSP coordinator and instructor.
Editor's Note: The following is an essay by Taylor Lescallette, 2008 RSP Alumna, about her experiences with the Reischauer Scholars Program.
Reischauer Scholars Program Reflections
2008 RSP Alumna
Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service, Class of 2012
My high school was a small public school in rural Pennsylvania, a few miles from the West Virginia border. Entering the program, I did not have confidence in my ability to compete with students from prestigious schools who had more experience with research and academic writing than I did. I soon realized, however, that through RSP I had access to fantastic textbooks, world-renowned professors and scholars, and peers from all over the country with diverse experiences and knowledge. I found that my lack of knowledge of Japanese history and culture did not hold me back, but rather the weekly readings, classrooms, and assignments gave me a comprehensive understanding of the material. The final research paper was probably the most challenging and helpful aspect of the program because it gave me invaluable experience in higher-level research and writing. When I earned the ranking of honorable mention for my paper, it solidified the confidence I had gained in my academic abilities, and it truly highlighted the fact that anyone from anywhere with a desire to learn and work hard could succeed in the Reischauer Scholars Program.
In the fall of my senior year, I applied to Georgetown University, my dream school, where I hoped to study international relations. I thought it was a long shot, so I was shocked and elated when I was accepted early in December. The admissions office sent handwritten Christmas cards to accepted students, and in mine they expressed how impressed they were with my participation in the Reischauer Scholars Program. Although I had the grades and the extracurricular activities to have a chance, I truly think the RSP made me stand out to Georgetown admissions committee and proved that I could handle and excel at college-level work. I credit the Reischauer Scholars Program with giving me invaluable confidence, experience, knowledge, and cultural understanding that I continue to use in my undergraduate career at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Otakon: Better the Second Time Around?
(© Monique T. Sharp-Wanamaker)
-Monique T. Sharp-Wanamaker
DC Anime Club
It is a cardinal rule of anime fandom that to be considered a true lover of anime you must attend at least one anime convention before you die. The very first anime con I attended, back in 2003, was Katsucon, held, as always, over Presidents' Day weekend. (Readers may remember my reflections on a more recent Katuscon from an earlier issue of Japan Now.) I had so much fun at my first con that I decided to attend another anime con that summer. I had a blast at Otakon 2003, but never had the chance to attend that particular con again - until this year. In mid-July, from Friday the 17th until Sunday the 19th, I was among the thousands of Otaku, or "obsessed fans" who flocked to the Baltimore Convention Center in anticipation of a fun-filled weekend at Otakon 2009.
Now entering its sixteenth year, Otakon celebrates popular culture as a gateway to deeper understanding of Asian culture, and has grown with public enthusiasm for anime, manga, video games, and music from Japan and East Asia. One of the largest gatherings of fans in the United States, Otakon draws over 25,000 fans for three days each year. It's a membership-based convention sponsored by Otakorp, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based educational non-profit whose mission is to promote the appreciation of Asian culture, primarily through media and entertainment. Otakorp, Inc. is run by an all-volunteer staff - by fans, for fans.
For me, one of the major highlights was seeing the large numbers of fans dressed in their Gothic Lolita finery. Gothic Lolita is one of Japan's many street fashions that are growing in popularity in the West. The style often is meant to make the wearer look doll-like, sweet and/or elegant. Visiting the Dealers' Room, or Merchants' Hall, was another adventurous event. Vendors peddled everything from DVDs and CDs to clothing. Representatives from companies such as Anime Fan Zone, Anime Pavilion, and Goddess Boutique occupied every corner of the Convention Center's enormous Exhibit Hall.
I made it a point to attend the FUNimation panel. FUNimation Entertainment is an American entertainment company and subsidary of Navarre Corporation that produces, markets, and distributes anime in the U.S. and abroad. These kinds of panels tend to draw a crowd as it's a chance for sneak peaks and national premiers of upcoming films and other productions. FUNimation's East Coast premiere of the English dubbed version of Hideaki Anno's EVANGELION: 1.0 YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE at this year's Otakon was something not to be missed! EVANGELION: 1.0 YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE is the first of a four part film adaptation of the sci-fi animated series blockbuster Neon Genesis Evangelion (also written and directed by Hideaki Anno) which aired on Japanese television in the mid 1990's. Attendees of the FUNimation panel got an advanced screening two full months before the film opened at Baltimore's Hoff Theater. Also premiered at Otakon '09 was the FUNimation adaptation of Sgt. Frog! Attendees are also the first to find out about upcoming projects and releases. The panel's host, Adam Sheehan, revealed that the premier OVA collection of the anime Full Metal Alchemist was slated for release on 4 August 2009. If you like to be one of the first to have the latest news and info, then anime conventions are definitely the place to be.
Of course, no anime con would be complete without a Cosplay Masquerade. Hosted by MC John Hock and featuring a performance by singer Naomi Tamura, the Cosplay Masquerade at this year's Otakon featured 33 entries separated into the following divisions: Craftsmen, Journeyman, and Novice. Just as I did when writing about Katsucon 15, I feel compelled to recognize some of the great talent one can find at anime cons. One of the funniest skits , entitled "Ding! It's Tea Time!," featured con attendees Margaret and Rebecca Lee.
I had a blast at Otakon 2009! I managed to get a few souvenirs, attend some great panels, and even make some new friends. I am already anticipating attending Otakon 2010, which will be held from July 30-August 1, 2010. This time, I'm getting a hotel room. The one part of Otakon that was less than fun was commuting from Washington, DC! Be sure to reserve your hotel room before it's too late. Don't say I didn't warn you!
Win a Trip to Japan!
-Ministry of Foreign Affairs
September 24, 2009
Would you like to visit Japan? The Japan National Tourism Organization could have you on your way! The JNTO has announced the "Visit Japan Year 2010 Contest." They invite you to either tell them in a 2010 character essay or show them in a photograph why you want to visit Japan. Visit the website for contest rules, a full list of prizes, and ideas on what to see and do in Japan. You can even take a quiz to find out which Japanese destination will lead to the vacation of your dreams!