International Symposium: Peacemakers or Powder Monkeys – the Role of the Media in Post-WWII History

The Symposium focused on the role of mass media in processes of reconciliation in Europe and East Asia. Participants included representatives of Major European, Japanese and US news outlets.

 This month, a dispute over contaminated dumplings imported from China unleashed a torrent of such unrelentingly critical coverage in the Japanese media that an official visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao had to be postponed. The US Marine Corps dictionary defines powder monkey as one who carries explosives to gun crews on a battleship. Reporters everywhere have plied their trade by stoking the fires of nationalism. But is the media not capable of promoting peace? Japanese, Chinese and Korean reporters have been meeting for years in attempt to confront the past. In Europe, ARTE TV funded by French and German tax-payers, beams programs on public affairs and the arts, simultaneously in two languages. Might a similiar multi-lingual network be established in Asia one day? Or should we pin our hopes on the Internet to help forge shared perceptions of past and future?

Date: Saturday, 5 April 2008, 10:00 - 17:30
Place: Goethe-Institut Japan in Tokyo

Organized by:
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)
International Center for the Study of Historical Reconciliation at Tokyo Keizai University
Goethe-Institut Japan in Tokyo

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Japan Office

7-5-56 Akasaka
Minato-ku
Tokyo, 107-0052
Japan

+03 6277-7551
+03 3588-6035

office(at)fes-japan.org

Photo: FES Japan

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Dr. Volker Stanzel is the former ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Japan and China and currently serves as the Vice President of the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Senior Distinguished Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and President of the Association of German-German-Japanese Societies.

 

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Graphic: J. Traud

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