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RRU participates in UBC academic conference

July 22, 2020
Dr. Jeff Kucharski, MBA, Ph.D

On Jan. 24 and 25, 2020, a group of leading scholars and policy analysts from Canada, Japan and the United States convened at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver to explore the new phenomenon of Japan’s leadership in the liberal international order.

This event, held under the aegis of the Centre for Japanese Research, was co-ordinated with a related workshop organized by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada on Japan’s leadership in the Free and Open Indo-Pacific.

At the conference, Kawamura Yasuhisa, Japanese ambassador to Canada, gave the keynote speech. This was followed by presentations from scholars and experts from institutions including the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs, the University of Britih Columbia Institute of Asian Research, University of California Berkeley APEC Study Center, the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Public Policy, the Pacific Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii and others.

Royal Roads Adjunct Prof. Jeff Kucharski gave a presentation entitled "Japan, FOIP and the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific". In his presentation, Kucharski analyzes Japan’s energy leadership in the Indo-Pacific region under the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific" (FOIP) framework and in the context of both the China threat and the weakening U.S. guarantees. In its energy strategy in the Asia Pacific, Japan seeks to counter China, but also cement closer relationships with countries around the region and ensure high transparency and standards of the emerging energy infrastructure. Dr. Kucharski argues Canada should pursue closer cooperation and coordination with Japan and seek new opportunities to bolster its foreign policy by using its energy supply advantages, clean energy expertise and soon to be significant export capacity to leverage broader gains in the pursuit of Canada's interests in the region.

"I feel honoured to have been invited to present at this conference," says Kucharski. He says he also feels that his research on energy, trade and the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific is both timely and important especially in light of current events including Canada-China tensions, the impact of international trade agreements, de-globalization trends, the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in global supply chains. Kucharski says he thinks sharing and discussing the latest research from leading scholars in this field is valuable in terms of informing the content and development of the courses he teaches at Royal Roads, including the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment courses in the MBA program as well international business course in the BCom program.

Participating institutions in this conference  jointly agreed to sponsor a dedicated website where conference papers have been published online and can be freely downloaded. The proceedings of the conference are now available.