Japan's World War II in Asia: 70 Years On

September 30-October 1, 2011

An International Conference at the University of Pittsburgh.
Sponsor: The Asian Studies Center, University Center for International Studies, University of Pittsburgh.
Convener: Richard J Smethurst, Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh.
Funders: Japan Iron and Steel Federation Endowment Fund and Mitsubishi Endowment Fund of the University of Pittsburgh.
Venue: The University Club, 123 University Place, Oakland

On September 30 and October 1, 2011, an international conference entitled, "Japan’s World War II in Asia: 70 Years On," will take place at the University of Pittsburgh. Twenty-one historians from many parts of the world: Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, Great Britain, and the United States will join five Pitt professors to discuss issues such as the rise of nationalism in prewar Japan; the origins of Japan’s World War II in Asia; what led the Japanese to think they could win simultaneous wars against a country with a population seven times theirs and another with an economy five times theirs; how military and civilian planners created a centrally-directed war economy modeled after German and Soviet systems of total mobilization; how ordinary Japanese viewed and justified their war against China and then against the United States and its other allies; the impact of the war on the Japanese home front during the war and even afterward; its impact on other parts of Asia; the nature of its warfare; and postwar Japanese memory of the war.

             The conference will be divided into four sessions of three hours each over two days. In each case, four panelists will make 25-minute presentations, to be followed by formal comments by eminent American and British historians, and then an open discussion with those in attendance in the audience.

             The conference has been organized by Professor Richard Smethurst of the Pitt history department, with the assistance of the staff of the University's Asian Studies Center. Funding has been provided by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation and Mitsubishi endowments of the University of Pittsburgh. The conference is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To ensure seating or for more information, contact Dianne Dakis at dakis@pitt.edu.


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