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"Land of the Rising or Setting Sun?" 

Challenges facing Japan in the third decade of the 21st century

10th May 2023

Institute of the Middle and Far East

Jagiellonian University


Recently arisen circumstances such as the war between Ukraine and Russia pose a serious threat to the global balance of forces – the current situation compels all of us to verify previously known paradigms of international politics. The question is – where does Japan stand in all of this? 

“Land of the Rising or Setting Sun? – Japan’s challenges for the third decade of the 21st century” is an international conference, organized by the Institute of the Middle and Far East of the Jagiellonian University and the Japanese Department of the Far East Students’ Association under the Jagiellonian University. It will be held on the 10th of May in hybrid form. The event acts as a second edition of international conferences organized by the Japanese Section of the Far East Students’ Association, following last year’s conference titled “Abe’s Japan - The legacy of Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister” with Yoshino Naoyuki gracing us as the keynote speaker.  

Japan is currently at a point where the country and its people face a multitude of interconnected issues – starting from the slow economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent passing of Abe Shinzō to the issues following the nation for a long time such as an aging population. Moreover, nowadays we observe accelerating changes in international power in Asia and beyond – the war between Ukraine and Russia is an event heavily influencing the region, challenging Japan’s strategic security. Recent years lead us to believe that China and its aggressive attitude can also be a serious threat to the balance of power we currently know.  

Keeping this in mind, we would like to use this conference as an opportunity to investigate the challenges that are on the horizon in the current decade.

The Embassy of Japan in Poland is a honorary patron of the conference

Considered topics include but are not limited to:

  1. the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on Japan 
  2. soft power and its limits  
  3. the safety guaranteed by hard power compared with Article 9 and pacifism  
  4. the struggle for power between China, Russia and the USA, and Japan’s response 
  5. silver tsunami haunting the demography 
  6. the Japanese approach to nuclear energy, relations with the Middle Eastern oil empires, green energy 
  7. the rise of South Korean pop culture as a challenge to Japanese soft power  - “Korean Wave” (Hallyu) as a challenge to “Cool Japan” 
  8. Japanese approach towards new religious movements after Abe Shinzō’s death 
  9. Kishida Fumio’s office in comparison to Abe Shinzō’s legacy – will the current prime minister walk his own path? 
  10. rising Japanese ultranationalism 
  11. Japan’s “iron triangle”

Final conference schedule



In case of any questions, contact us at:  

Scientific Committe

Professor Adam Jelonek  (Head of the Institute of the Middle and Far East)

Professor Jan Tkaczyński (Head of the Eurasian Comparative Transformation Department)

Professor Ewa Trojnar (Deputy Dean of the Faculty of International and Political Studies)

Paweł Dybała PhD  

Joanna Guzik PhD

Maciej Pletnia PhD  

Karolina Ćwieląg

Emilia Domagała

Zuzanna Szutta