On Thursday, December 17, 2015, leading scholars of Japan participated in the symposium “Is Japan Really Back?” in honor of the retirement of Gerald L. Curtis, the Burgess Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.
The panelists, all of whom were Professor Curtis’s former PhD students, included: Victor Cha, Georgetown University; Bill Heinrich, U.S. Department of State; Takako Hikotani, National Defense Academy of Japan; Yongho Kim, Yonsei University; Peng Er Lam, National University of Singapore; Akitoshi Miyashita, Tokyo International University; Megumi Naoi, University of California, San Diego; Andrew Oros, Washington College; Frances Rosenbluth, Yale University; Sheila Smith, Council on Foreign Relations; Takaaki Suzuki, Ohio University; and Robert Uriu, University of California, Irvine.
Following the symposium, Professor Curtis was honored during a reception at Faculty House that featured speeches by Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University, and Ambassador Reiichiro Takahashi, the Consul General of Japan in New York. John Coatsworth, the Provost of Columbia University, announced that a named professorship–the Gerald L. Curtis Professor of Japanese Politics–will be established at Columbia in recognition of Professor Curtis’s significant contributions to the study of Japan.
The reception also featured tributes by Andrew J. Nathan, Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science, Columbia University; Merit E. Janow, Dean of the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs; James W. Morley, Professor of Government Emeritus, Columbia University; Susan J. Pharr, Edwin O. Reischauer Professor of Japanese Politics, Harvard University; Bill Heinrich and Sheila Smith; Hugh T. Patrick, Director, Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia Business School; Deborah Bell, retired Columbia University administrator; William T. Breer, Diplomat, U.S. Department of State, Retired; Nobuyori Kodaira, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Company; Winston Lord, former U.S. Ambassador to China and former Assistant Secretary of State; and Ezra Vogel, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus, Harvard University.
Videos from the symposium are available below: