Australia-Japan Society of Tasmania Inc.


The Australian Embassy in Tokyo and Australia-Japan Relations

  • 27 Apr 2023
  • 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Online

ANU Japan Institute Seminar Series

Speakers: Kate Darian Smith (UTAS) & David Lowe (Deakin University)

The strength of Australian-Japanese relations in the post-World War II period in the economic sphere as well as substantial cultural and educational exchanges has resulted in a 'special relationship' between the two countries that is now well-established. Australia's diplomatic representation in Tokyo has been central to these developments, evolving over seventy years as changes to technology, communications and security have determined day-to-day practices and opened fresh opportunities for interactions between the two nations and their peoples.

The speakers' new co-edited volume on the many dimensions of the Australian Embassy in Tokyo is based on archival research, oral histories and memoirs, as well as the insights of the 'new diplomatic history'. It looks at the sociability of diplomacy, acknowledging that the complexities of diplomatic sites extend well beyond the roles and actions of national leaders and their appointed representatives abroad. In this seminar, the speakers will discuss how a direct focus on the Australian Embassy in Tokyo and its occupants— from ambassadors to locally-engaged staff — adds depth to the historical understandings of diplomatic work and regional ties, whether these be high level negotiations or soft power cultural influences.


Professor Kate Darian-Smith is Executive Dean and Pro-Vice Chancellor, College of Arts, Law and Education at the University of Tasmania, and a social and cultural historian of Australia with current work on postwar Australia and higher education. She has had a long association with Japan through Australian Studies scholarly networks and served two terms (2010-16) on the Board of the Australia Japan Foundation.

Professor David Lowe is Chair in Contemporary History in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University. His research centres on cultural aspects of the history of international relations, including Australia's role in the world; his current research is on the history of postwar foreign aid, including the Colombo Plan. He was Visiting Professor in Australian Studies at the Centre for Pacific and American Studies (CPAS), University of Tokyo, in 2019–20.

Please register here.

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