Tokyo calling: how Japan communicates with the world

Oct. 18, 2019 08:00 - 09:30


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Foreign perceptions of Japan are a strange jumble of opposites: technology-loving but reluctant to change, conformist but creative, pacifist and yet constantly criticised over wartime history. Tomoaki Ishigaki, the prime minister's director of global communications, is the man who has to try and put Japan's message across. But how it comes out depends on the foreign journalists covering Japan, such as Robin Harding, Tokyo bureau chief for the Financial Times. In conversation over breakfast on October 18, they will discuss how the news about Japan is shaped, what Japan is trying to say to the world and how its messages get warped in the process.


Tomoaki Ishigaki | Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Affairs, and Director of Global Communications, Prime Minister’s Office 

Japanese diplomat with experiences on various bilateral and multilateral negotiations ranging from disarmament, non-proliferation, security, trade and investment, development assistance, climate change to public relations and public diplomacy. Taught international law at Keio University (2007-2010 and 2013-2018) and written articles on international law and multilateral negotiations. Also taught international relations at the University of Tokyo (2016-2017) and international environmental law at the graduate schism of law at Kyushu University (2018). Detaild CV found at:



Robin Harding | Tokyo Bureau Chief, Financial Times

Robin Harding is Tokyo Bureau chief for the Financial Times. Established in 1888, the FT is one of the world’s leading news organizations, especially for economic and financial news. The FT is recognized internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community. In his current role, Harding’s reporting focuses on Japan’s economy, politics and international relations. Robin was the FT’s US economics editor from 2010-2014, based in Washington DC, where he covered all aspects of the US and international economy, from the Federal Reserve to the IMF. He has also worked as a member of the FT’s editorial board and contributes occasional columns on economics to the paper’s opinion page. Robin was born in Durham, in the north of England, and has a degree in economics from the University of Cambridge. From 2001 to 2004, studied at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo on a Monbukagakusho Scholarship, where he received a master’s degree. Before becoming a journalist, he worked in banking, asset management and public policy research.


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Off the record: This event is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

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Meal: American breakfast

Cancellation policy: Paid reservations by October 14, 17:00 after which there can be no refunds on cancellations. No-shows will be charged.  We can not accept cash at the door.

Please let us know if you have any special dietary needs by Oct 9,  menu cannot be changed on the day. 


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Grand Hyatt Tokyo
6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-Ku, Tokyo, Japan, 106-0032

Tel: 03 4333 1234
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