On Tuesday, February 26th 2013, Ambassador Kazuo Kodama visited City College of New York to deliver an evening lecture entitled “’Means and Objectives of Foreign Policy’: Japan’s case story – since the end of WWII, the trajectory from a pacifist nation to a normal nation” for about 20 graduate students of the Theories of International Relations class taught by Professor Jacqueline Braveboy-Wagner.
In his lecture, Ambassador Kodama began by recalling his past experience in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. He then described the developing road of Japanese foreign policy since the end of World War II, noting in particular the significant constitutional change in which the transfer of Japan’s national sovereignty and power would from then on reside with the people of Japan while the Emperor would become a national symbol. Furthermore, he described Article 9 of the Constitution which renounces the use of force as a means of foreign policy and the important effects to Japan’s foreign policy.
Ambassador Kodama went on to explain the Japan-US security treaty, as well as the Gulf War and the Middle East crisis which became a turning point for Japanese diplomacy, sometimes mixing his descriptions and explanations with humor, which created a lively lecture. Additionally, the Ambassador explained Japan’s relationships with neighboring countries and shared his deep knowledge of the UN’s role after the Arab Spring, particularly the role of the Security Council.
The graduate students eagerly listened to the lecture and were very engaged during the Question and Answer session, which extended beyond the normal class time. They were particularly interested in the Arab Spring and the role of the Security Council as the students continue to see the long-lasting effects in the news today. The students showed great interest in Ambassador Kodama’s lecture.
Ambassador Kodama has been reposted from the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations in New York to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan’s Headquarters and the morning after his lecture at City College, he left New York for Japan to take up his new position.
Speech by Ambassador Kazuo Kodama