Japanese professor to shed light on Japan-US relations


Tensions are heating up in the Korean Peninsula with the threat of nuclear warfare. US-China relations are on edge, and Japan has reformed its national security policy. The role of the United States in these foreign policy issues are unclear.

Toshihiro Nakayama is bringing his expertise on Japanese foreign policy to South Dakota State University at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at 204 Crothers Engineering Hall.

His speech, Japan’s Foreign Policy Options in the Trump Era, will analyze international issues affecting Japan. He will give a broad description of past, current and future US-Japan relations.

Robert Burns, chairman of the South Dakota World Affairs Council, is the event coordinator and believes it is important to stay up-to-date on world issues.

The Council has a three-part university series this fall featuring speakers addressing China-US relations, Korea-US relations and Japan-US relations. Council members hope to bring insight about the nuclear threats from North Korea against Japan and United States and China’s roles in those situations.

“It’s well timed,” Burns said. “Students should expect the speech to be very informative.”

The Council aims to spread global awareness and understanding in the Brookings community. It works with SDSU to bring in speakers and organizes programs and events outside of campus.

Agricultural science major Andrew Roth plants to attend the Japan-US relations speaker event. He went to China last spring with the College of Agriculture and Biological Studies, and learned about the importance of international agriculture and policy.

 “I’ve been to South Korea and China, and Japan is a part of that area,” Roth said. “The US has interest in all of those areas.”

Roth has been to a few speakers before.

“You get to hear professional opinions and thoughts on world topics that you don’t have on national media news,” Roth said. “You get to hear more of the story.”

Nakayama is the first speaker in SDSU’s speaker series for the fall semester. In high school, he was an exchange student in Watertown. 

He has worked for the Washington Post while living in Japan, worked for the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations in New York and taught at multiple universities. He has written two books and numerous articles on American politics, foreign policy and international relations. He writes columns for Japan News and appears regularly on Japanese media. 

Nakayama is a professor of American Politics and Foreign Policy at the Faculty of Policy Management at Keio University in Tokyo.