The ANU Japan Institute Seminar Series showcases cutting-edge research by leading and emerging scholars based primarily in Australia and Japan. It aims to promote networking among Japan Studies scholars in the two countries and will feature innovative research on the bilateral relationship.

The virtual seminar series will run in 10-week blocks over the two semesters of the academic year (from 2021 to 2023), and will subsequently be made available online for public viewing. Join our mailing list to receive updates and reminders ahead of each seminar.

The virtual seminars will take place from:  

  • 5-6PM Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)
  • 4-5PM Japan Standard Time (JST) 
  • 3-4PM Singapore Standard Time (STST)

After 1 October, with Australian Eastern Daylight Time

  • 5-6PM Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)
  • 3-4PM Japan Standard Time (JST) 
  • 2-3PM Singapore Standard Time (STST)

Diplomatic traditions of Japan and the United States: A preliminary comparative analysis

Japan and the United States generally appear as quite different and contrasting countries in terms of territory, population, history, culture, society, ethnic composition and so on. The two Pacific neighbours, however, have disparate as well as common characteristics when it comes to diplomacy and security. This presentation will tentatively explore differences and commonalities in the diplomatic tradition of Japan and the United States from historical perspectives.

The talk will experimentally apply some of the basic concepts of American foreign policy to the analysis and comparison of Japanese and American diplomatic tradition, such as isolationism/unilateralism vs. internationalism/multilateralism, the 'diplomacy of idea/interest/power,' and sea power vs. continental (land) power.

The analysis will start from ancient Japan when its initial diplomatic tradition was formed, to the Great Age of Navigation when Japan had the first contact with the West while the United States had its colonial past originated, to the nineteenth century when the two Pacific countries had the first contact with each other and nurtured respective modern diplomatic traditions, to the twentieth century when the two countries developed complex and entangled relationship as world powers.


Naoki Kamimura is a Professor of American studies and international relations at Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan. He received his Ph.D. in US diplomatic history from UCLA. He has been a Visiting Fellow at several institutions including, the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University (2000, 2006, 2023); the Centre for Strategic Studies, Victoria University of Wellington (2000, 2006, and 2023); the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University (2000-2001); Centro de Investigaciones Sociales, La Paz, Bolivia (1990); and a visiting MacArthur Fellow at SAIS, the Johns Hopkins University (1989-91).

Prof Kamimura specialises in US foreign relations, particularly relations with Japan, Australia and New Zealand as well as with Latin America. He has written extensively on the security politics of the US alliance, focusing on civil society and nuclear disarmament in America’s Pacific allies, as well as US policy toward revolutionary regimes in Latin America, especially Bolivia.

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