Dartmouth Hosts “Japan Studies at Dartmouth” Conference

By Marie Plecha, The Dartmouth Staff | 11/12/13 7:00am

Dartmouth celebrated its Japanese studies programs by hosting the conference “Japan Studies at Dartmouth: Educating Global Citizens” on Nov. 8 and 9. The conference commemorated the partnership between Dartmouth and Mitsui & Co. Ltd., a trading, investment and service company that supported Japanese studies at Dartmouth with a $3 million donation in 2011.

This contribution established the Mitsui Endowed Professorship in the Study of Japan, awarded to a faculty member whose studies have advanced interdisciplinary knowledge of modern Japan. Government professor Yusaku Horiuchi is the inaugural recipient of the professorship.

The conference aimed to highlight how Dartmouth’s diversity of programs in Japanese studies educates students as globally conscious citizens. The two-day event included speakers and panel discussions featuring alumni professionals and students, many of whom discussed how their experiences in Japanese studies at Dartmouth have influenced their own research and work experiences.

The event’s keynote speaker was Martin Fackler ’89, Tokyo Bureau Chief for the New York Times, who opened the conference last Friday with the public lecture, “A Journalist’s View of the Fukushima Accident and Japan’s Missed Opportunities for Change.”

Saturday featured events including an alumni academic and writing panel, an alumni professional panel, a student panel, and remarks by Horiuchi, who discussed new developments in the field of Japanese political study.

The alumni professional panel highlighted the experiences of four alumni who concentrated in Japanese studies at Dartmouth. Several of the speakers attributed their involvement in Japan-related careers to formative academic experiences at Dartmouth.

Ryan Goldstein ’93, partner of litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and head of its Tokyo office, attributed his initial interest in Japan to his History 6 class, which he called a “life-changer.” He then participated in Dartmouth’s foreign study program based in Japan. “Once I was in Japan, I knew I wanted to come back,” he said.

Anibal Yanez Hinojosa ’12, a cash equities trader at UBS Securities Japan, discussed how the liberal arts education he received at Dartmouth has benefitted him in his career.

“Because of my Dartmouth education, I’m still the guy who always has an opinion on international trade issues,” he said.

The conference concluded with a closing dinner featuring a keynote speech by Mark Davidson ’82, minister-counselor for public affairs at the U.S. Embassy at Tokyo. Overall, the conference highlighted the unique opportunities that pursuing Japan studies at Dartmouth can present, celebrating the programs’ past, present and future.

Marie Plecha, The Dartmouth Staff