Professor Akihiro Iwashita gave a talk at the School of Social Sciences at the University of Auckland in New Zealand on 29 March, as part of this Center’s mission to promote border studies research in the Asia-Pacific region. The talk was entitled “Japan’s geopolitics from the perspective of border studies: Challenges and prospects”, and following a brief explanation of some fundamental concepts for the study of borders, sought to analyse the various problems that Japan currently faces from the perspective of the changing situation in the Northeast Asian region. The talk also sought to point to the opportunities available for joint research to be conducted across the boundaries existing between other maritime regions, like Oceania, and the prospects for such studies being undertaken with New Zealand.
Despite the talk’s contents being sufficiently explosive to set off the university’s fire alarm, necessitating a brief break in proceedings, the audience all returned to engage with the speaker in a spirited debate. The talk provided an opportunity for Professor Iwashita to sum up the results of the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research project that he led on reshaping research on international relations through border studies, which concluded recently. Our Center looks forward to working with the University of Auckland on this agenda in the future as well.