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         24 September 2002

On Tuesday, 8 October 2002, the United Nations University (UNU) will host a roundtable seminar on "Youth Culture in Japan" in the Elizabeth Rose Conference Hall at the UN House in Tokyo. The seminar, which will be presented by the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU/IAS), the Ishikawa International Cooperation Research Centre (IICRC), Temple University Japan (TUJ) and WAKAI (UNU-Temple University Japan joint project), will convene a diverse range of experts to explore consumerism among Japanese youth and the role of Japan's youth culture as a catalyst for positive social change.

The seminar will begin (10:00 to 11:30 a.m.) with a panel discussion on consumerism in youth culture. The discussion will examine the "culture of cool" among youth in Japan, the impact of new technology on patterns of consumption, and the evolution of global youth culture. This will be followed (noon to 1:30 p.m.) by a panel discussion focusing on youth culture and public policy in Japan. Panelists will assess how public policy meets the needs of youth in Japan and explore how public policies can forge links between youth and mainstream society.

Panellists are John Clammer, professor of Sociology and Asian Studies at Sophia University; Atsushi Miura, marketing planner; Tetsuya Ozaki, editor-in-chief and publisher of REAL TOKYO; Takuya Yatabe, music producer and club promoter; Kenichi Kawasaki, professor of Sociology at Komazawa University; Hiroshi Inayama, with the Japan Foundation for Regional Art-Activities (JAFRA); and Ratna Rana, Director of the IICRC. Both discussions will be moderated by Kyle Cleveland, sociologist at Temple University Japan. Simultaneous interpretation in Japanese and English will be provided.

The discussions will be followed (1:30 to 2:30 p.m.) with a lecture by author Alex Kerr, whose books Lost Japan and Dogs and Demons paint a provocative and often heartbreaking portrait of Japan in crisis as it faces economic stagnation, environmental destruction and the loss of cultural heritage. Mr. Kerr, an authority on East Asian art and aesthetics, holds degrees in Japanese Studies from Yale University and Chinese Studies from Oxford University. His book Lost Japan (written in Japanese) won the 1994 Shincho Gakugei Literature Prize - the first time a foreigner author had won this prestigious award. The lecture will be in English only.

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend the "Youth Culture in Japan" seminar.

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For further information or to reserve a place at the seminar, please contact:
UNU Public Affairs Section,
Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246; Fax (03) 3406-7346




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