Date: July 23, 2020
Time: 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Cost: Free of charge.
Location: This was an online webinar through Google Meet.
On July 23rd, the day originally planned for the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremonies, the Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS) hosted its fifth YCAPS-JUMP webinar at 9 AM JST (8 PM EST on July 22nd). Moderated by Executive Director John Bradford, the webinar discussed the decision to delay the Olympics by one year and the impacts of that decision on Japan’s international relationships. Dr. Nancy Snow, the Pax Mundi Professor of Public Diplomacy, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies; Mr. Dan Cintron; the Olympic Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy Tokyo and Ms. Risa Kamio, a member of the Setagaya City Assembly engaged in a vigorous conversation with each other, the moderator, and questions from the 47 YCAPS-JUMP members in attendance from both Japan and the United States.
The moderator opened by noting the current political controversy surrounding the Olympics in Japan. A recent Kyodo News poll found that fewer than 24% of respondents were in favor of the new schedule. Most respondents desired further delay or outright cancellation of the Olympics. However, Prime Minister Abe’s surrogates, including previous YCAPS seminar leaders, argue that the Olympics will be a powerful demonstration of Japan’s resilience and strength. In particular, these voices argue that when the world’s eyes are on Tokyo, Japan will rise to the challenge and the result will be an international affairs victory. Those involved in the discussion were aware of the challenges ahead, but were generally optimistic and especially valued prospects for developing people-to-people times and engaging youth with the games.
Dr. Nancy Snow is Professor Emeritus of Communications at California State University, Fullerton and Pax Mundi Professor of Public Diplomacy, Kyoto University of Foreign Studies. In 2020, she was Walt Disney Chair in Global Media and Communications for Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University, where she taught a course on “Public Diplomacy and Pandemic.” Snow was an Abe Fellow and Visiting Research Professor at Keio University where she researched Japan’s public diplomacy after 3/11 and published Japan’s Information War (English and Japanese versions). She was a Fulbright student in Germany (Bayreuth, Regensburg) and a Fulbright professor at Sophia University in Japan. Snow is the author/editor/co-editor of thirteen books, including the Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy 2nd Edition (with Nicholas J. Cull); The SAGE Handbook of Propaganda (with Paul Baines and Nicholas O’Shaughnessy); Information War; Propaganda, Inc.; and Propaganda and American Democracy.
Dan Cintron is the Olympics coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Prior to his current position, Mr. Cintron was the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, following a year-long detail at the White House’s National Security Council where he was the Director for Japan and Oceania Affairs. Other positions Mr. Cintron held at the State Department include Deputy Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, and UN General Assembly Coordinator. Overseas, Dan served assignments at U.S. Embassies in Kabul, Tokyo, Beijing, and Manila. Prior to joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 2002, he worked in New York City for nearly ten years, first for a Japanese governmental organization supporting U.S. companies seeking to expand their business in Japan, and then for a Japanese multinational heavy industrial corporation as a sales manager. Raised in upstate New York, Dan received bachelor’s degrees from Boston University in East Asian Studies and Political Science. He is married to Izumi Cintron, and they have twin sons who have just graduated college.
Risa Kamio is a member of the Setagaya City Assembly and the Executive Director of Japan Global Education, a non-profit organization that promotes Japanese language education abroad and also people-to-people exchange between young people in Japan and overseas. After graduation from Sacred Heart University in Tokyo with a major in English literature and a minor in education, she taught Japanese at an elementary school in Maryland, supported educational travel by young Japanese to the U.S., and then served for ten years as Director of Educational Programs at the Japan-America Society of Washington D.C. (JASWDC). At JASWDC, she was the Director of the National Japan Bowl, an academic competition for high school students who are learning the Japanese language, and she expanded the program across the U.S. and to eleven countries around the world. She accompanied her husband, a Japanese diplomat, on his assignments to Poland and Bosnia-Herzegovina, where she continued to promote closer personal and cultural ties to Japan. Setagaya is “Host Town USA” for the American Olympic Team, and as a member of the City Assembly she is actively involved as a member of its committee on the Olympics and Paralympics, where she continues to emphasize a personal and “hands-on” approach to promoting Japan’s relationship with the world.
Thank you to everyone who participated. We greatly appreciate your patience and openness to online programming given these uncertain times. Please stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for details on future events.
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