Akio Takahara is a Professor at the University of Tokyo, and is one of Japan’s leading scholars and commentators on contemporary Chinese politics and diplomacy. He is also Senior Fellow at the Tokyo Foundation, an influential independent public policy think tank, and adjunct Fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs. In July last year, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II he put his name to a joint statement by 74 Japanese scholars calling for Japan squarely to admit its responsibilities during the war era and arguing that Japan’s moral stature in international society depended on its sincerity and integrity in recognizing the mistakes of the past. He has written extensively on resilience and fragility in Sino-Japanese relations.
Prof. Takahara received his doctorate from the University of Sussex. Previously worked at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, the Japanese consulate in Hong Kong, J.F. Oberlin University, Rikkvo University, and the Japanese embassy in Beijing. He was a visiting professor at Harvard University (2005-06) and Peking University (2014-15) and a member of the New Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century (2009-14).
Prof. Takahara talked about recent developments in Sino-Japanese relations, looking at both how these are influenced by domestic developments in China, and by China’s evolving foreign policy.