Diplomacy and Language - a Forum



Photos from the Forum here

2005 poster

The Hirosaki university faculty of humanities Presents

Diplomacy and Language - a forum -

With this increasingly borderless world and the subsequent expansion of inter-cultural contacts, the importance of creating institutions to protect cultural and intellectual heritages is becoming a pressing issue. Yet, at the same time, many nations are also seeking ways to develop effective means of conveying their own culture and customs to others. In both instances, language plays a key role, although with the emergence of English as the dominant and global language, the question of how those in the non-English speaking world will protect and project their own cultures, intellectual traditions and languages is an open issue.

This year will be the third in the Hirosaki University Faculty of Humanities “Language and Diplomacy” series. As a result of the first two forums, we have come to realize how much we can learn from those serving in diplomatic service, experts who conduct negotiations with foreign countries on a daily basis.

This year, we will look at Japan’s language policy in comparison with that of China. We have invited a diplomatic officer from the Chinese embassy in Tokyo who is an expert on language policy and a researcher from the National Institute for Japanese Language who has had a hand in survey work related to Japanese language education. After the opening lecture, they will join members of the Hirosaki University Faculty of Humanities to the discuss issues related to soft power and diplomacy.

In November 2004, China opened its first “Confucius Institute” in Seoul. The announced purpose was “to borrow the name of Confucius and to spread the Chinese language.” The Chinese Government plans to establish 100 branches of the Confucius Institute throughout the world. In Japan a branch was established at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto in June of this year.

Turning aside the issues of “hard” economic and military power, we plan to focus on the concept of “soft power” in this year’s discussion of “Diplomacy and Language.” With globalization and the growth of English as the global tongue, we will look into how China’s policy makers are trying to use the promotion of Chinese language study and other “soft power” instruments to augment China’s rising economic global presence. We will then look at how Japan, the other great economic power in East Asia, will utilize its own “soft power” resources.


November 5, 2005 (Saturday)


General Education Building (Hirosaki University)
(Here is a PDF file, you will find the General Education Building at 20. Click here for a detailed Campus Map)

Part 1: 13:00-14:00 Lecture (Room 401)

Hu Zhiping (First Secretary: Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Japan )

The Development of China’s Overseas Chinese Language Education Policy
(in Japanese)

Part 2: 14:30-16:30 Panel Discussion (Room 404)


Hu Zhiping
Noyama Hiroshi (The National Institute for Japanese Language)
Harata Etsuo (German Literature, Faculty of Humanities, Hirosaki University)
Michel Janson (French, Faculty of Humanities, Hirosaki University)
Yang Tianxi (Chinese language, Faculty of Humanities, Hirosaki University)


Victor Carpenter (International Politics, Faculty of Humanities, Hirosaki University)

viccarpe(at)cc.hirosaki-u.ac.jp | ©2004 Hirosaki University